New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin incidentally served as a mouthpiece for Big Blue nation after the latest training camp news broke about Hakeem Nicks tweaking something. Last season, a foot injury robbed Nicks of valuable time with his teammates and the team’s conditioning regimen, and now 2013 is seeing him sit out with an apparent groin issue.
It’s hard to watch a player who is so brilliant at full health spend yet another training camp dinged up before any meaningful action.
“Certainly I want to see him on the field, and he wants to be on the field,” Coughlin said from Giants training camp, via the Star-Ledger. “It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to learn to control myself when it comes to that as well and just realize he’s trying like heck to get out here and he knows he needs to practice and work at it.”
After hurting his knee in Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season, Nicks lacked the explosiveness that made him so dangerous his entire career. Despite missing games here and there in seasons prior, Nicks had always burned defenses upon hitting the field. While other seasons brought angst based on how many games Nicks might miss, this one adds the extra question of whether he will even be as dominant as before in playing through injury.
One key indicator should be missed tackles. Nicks’ arm strength, speed and elusiveness with ball in hand gives him the package of a potentially elite receiver. However, Nicks fell to 75th in the NFL in missed tackles last season after ranking eighth in that category the year prior, and 17th in 2009.