If last year was any indication it is that the New York Giants need a healthy Hakeem Nicks to bolster their passing game. Nicks missed three games last season and posted the worst statistical season of his career with 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants passing offense as a whole had only 3825 net passing yards last season, down from 4734 net passing yards the year prior. The Giants only threw 50 fewer times last season than in 2011.
Nicks is already having health issues, a yearly problem for the receiver who has yet to play a full season with a myriad of issues ranging from foot injuries to groin injuries and everything in between. This year, at least so far, it has been Nicks’ groin that has bothered him and kept him out of the last four practices.
Nicks insists he will play in the Giants’ first preseason game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers but it isn’t the preseason the Giants need Nicks to play in. Nicks, entering a contract year, needs to stay on the field during the regular season and not the preseason. He knows this. The Giants and their fans know it. The question is, can Nicks’ body withstand the beating it is surely to take?
Without Nicks lining up opposite of Victor Cruz the Giants aerial attacks seemed somewhat impotent in comparison to previous years. Cruz, at times, seemed to disappear without Nicks and despite a few good games from Rueben Randle and Ramses Barden, there was no consistency to take some of the heat off of Cruz.
Will Nicks stay healthy this year and appear in 16 games for the first time in his career? That is a question that can only be answered at the end of the season obviously. However, the Giants did bolster their receiving corps by bringing in Louis Murphy and Randle should be much better this season giving the Giants fallback options in case Nicks can’t stay healthy. However, the Giants are much better with Nicks on the field and that has been the case since his rookie season in 2009. Hopefully, for Nicks and the Giants, the groin issue will be resolved and Nicks will take the field on Week 1 and be 100 percent.