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New York Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw Thinks Hakeem Nicks Will Play on Sunday

October 9th, 2012 at 6:30 PM
By Paul Tierney

New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has not been completely healthy for the entirety of Big Blue's 2012 campaign. After injuring the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during mini-camp, Nicks has been experiencing swelling in his knee after injuring it against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has missed the Giants last three games.

Eli Manning and Co. have been productive in Nicks' absence. Ramses Barden has shown some life, Victor Cruz has developed into a red zone threat, and rookie Rueben Randle broke out with six receptions for 82 yards against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

However, the Giants are facing a formidable opponent in the San Francisco 49ers in Week six. The 49ers currently rank second in the NFL in total defense, allowing just 262.6 yards per game. The Giants are going to need all the help they can get against San Francisco's defense. However, running back Ahmad Bradshaw said in an interview with ESPN Radio that Nicks gave him an indication that he would return to the field this Sunday.

"I think he'll be here this week." Bradshaw said. "He seemed to give me a hint that he would be."

The Giants are sorely missing Nicks' physical presence on the outside. Although Big Blue's passing attack looked great against the likes of Carolina and Cleveland, the 49ers will be far and away the best team the Giants are to play so far through 2012. Having Hakeem Nicks will create matchup problems in the 49ers secondary, and could allow for Victor Cruz to go to work on 49ers cornerback Carlos Rodgers over the middle of the field.

With that, the Giants have established a more balanced offense this season. Big Blue is averaging around 120 yards on the ground through six games, which is significantly better than the 89 yards the team averaged on the ground per game a year ago.

The presence of Hakeem Nicks will force the 49ers to play more attention to the perimeter, which could open up rushing lanes for Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, and David Wilson. That said, Bradshaw still holds that Nicks will not be rushing back from his most recent injury.

"Hakeem will be back and he'll be 100 percent when he does" come back, Bradshaw said. "He's just being careful and just taking his time. He wants to come back and be that playmaker he's always been with all he can and he doesn't want to come back and be missing game-in, game-out. I think he's just being precautious about it, but I think he'll be fine."

It's important to take these comments with a grain of salt. Hakeem Nicks has not practiced this week, nor did he step on the field at all last week. Head coach Tom Coughlin has given no indication that Nicks' condition has improved. Furthermore, it makes no sense for the Giants to tip their hand that their number-one receiver could be returning this week. While it's entirely possible that Bradshaw is telling the truth, we will not know for sure until Sunday.

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, Carlos Rodgers, Cleveland Browns, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ramses Barden, Rueben Randle, San Francisco 49ers, Victor Cruz

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20 Responses to “New York Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw Thinks Hakeem Nicks Will Play on Sunday”

  1.  Dirt says:

    Dirt says:
    October 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM
    There’s no way the Giants, even on their best day, can beat the 49ers. Like last year, and even like this past week, they only win if their opponent beats themselves.

    Signed,
    Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews and Cam Newton

    ———–

    And right on cue:

    @ProFootballTalk: Aaron Rodgers: I’m not playing my best football right now http://t.co/GBrxmAK5

  2.  Dirt says:

    E:60 will have a story on Tuck for those interested

    •  kujo says:

      For those who miss it, I’m hearing that it will reair on Lifetime and Oprah’s network tomorrow.

      •  Dirt says:

        Rough!

        Here’s a teaser: he played football to get away from his twin sisters picking on him.

        •  GmenMania says:

          An actual excerpt from the interview. You couldn’t make this up if you tried.

          Chadiha: If someone would have told you this was how your life would have played out… would you have believed it?

          Tuck: I would have laughed… And I probably would have told you I wouldn’t want that life… I didn’t want the pressure of the big city life or…being a celebrity where everybody’s probing into your personal life. I didn’t want any of that…
          I didn’t want to grow up in Brooklyn, New York, or LA. I like simple things in life… and hopefully when I retire from the NFL I’ll go back to those simple things…

  3.  James Stoll says:

    Anyone taking the over under on Bradshaws prediction

  4.  Valid says:

    I really think the main reason Nicks was held out this past week was because the Giants were playing the Browns. Coughlin knew we could beat them without Nicks, so he didn’t want to take any chance of him getting injured further so he gave him an extra week off to prepare for SF.

    I’m sure Nicks was hurting, but I think the fact that Cleveland was the opponent played a significant factor in him sitting out.

    Of course, this is just me speculating. Maybe Nicks really just couldn’t go.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    If nothing else, the uncertainty makes the Niners prepare for Nicks, and consider what they want to do if he doesn’t play. Anything that reduces their certainty is a good thing because it makes their game plan and practices tougher.

    Of course, Jim Harbaugh is such a genius that he can prepare for EVERY eventuality without even sweating. Just ask. He’ll tell you.

    I’ll tell you one thing about Harbaugh I learned from long exposure: he’s a terrible in-game coach. We can take advantage of that.

    •  Dirt says:

      All kidding aside, Coughlin has botched end of half clock management in the last two games. Can’t afford those shenanigans down the stretch.

  6.  Valid says:

    I also would like to mention something I thought about yesterday.

    Right now, our schedule doesn’t look as tough as it did when the season started. With the Saints being 1-4 and the Packers being 2-3, two games that looked like potential losses coming into the year now look like games that the Giants should win (considering that they are home for both of those games).

    This 49ers game really is huge. Not huge for the fact that it will make or break the Giants’ season, but huge for the fact that if they can go into SF and come out with a win, they will be looking at very winnable back-to-back games against Washington and Dallas (sorry, but I just don’t see the Giants getting swept by the Cowboys).

    That would set the Giants up at 6-2 for the Pittsburgh showdown, and while a loss is NEVER something you should settle for, the Giants could somewhat “afford” to lose that game, as they have a very winnable matchup in Cincinnati the following week.

    So let’s say the Giants then lose to Pitt and then beat the Bengals. That puts them at 7-3 heading into the bye, and in an NFC East where nine wins might win you the division, they’d be in phenomenal shape, especially with now easier-looking games against Green Bay and New Orleans on the horizon.

    Obviously this is ALL just me spitballing, but I just think our schedule is suddenly looking much more tolerable.

  7.  James Stoll says:

    Week 6 power rankings
    Yahoo has giants at 9
    Fox Sports. Giants at 7
    Bleacher Report. Giants at 12
    Google Sports. Giants at 7
    Doc’s Sports Service. Giants at 5
    ESPN. Giants at 7
    OnLine Wager Review. Giants at 8
    Suffolk Voice. Giants at 8
    USA Today Sports. Giants at 6
    Washington Post Sports. Giants at 6

  8.  TuckThis says:

    You’re so well read, Jim :-)

  9.  TuckThis says:

    So the Giants average out to a 7.5 power ranking.
    Who said girls can’t do math?

  10.  GOAT56 says:

    If Nicks plays I think we will score near our 30 ppg average. SF has a very good defense. But the reason they were successful vs. us in the playoffs was pressure against Eli. I think this OL is playing at a much higher Eli and will give Eli more time than that game which will allow the WRs to get open. Also, what helped SF defend us was Ballard was clearly not the same player as mid regular season. Therefore the LBs could cheat and help vs. the WRs. With Bennett we have a difference presence they will have trouble against. SF had trouble against the Minn TE and Bennett is a similar if not better athlete. Even without Nicks SF CBs are not Philly’s and Hixon, Randle and Barden can beat their CBs.

    However, to pass well we will need to run the ball in 22-28 carry 100-120 yard range. We ran the ball for about 90 each game last year but 3.3 yards per carry. If we can get that average up to at least 4 yards per carry range we keep them honest and out of the 3rd down and longs we faced way too often in that playoff game.

    In short we will score better than either game last year because our tackles are better and Bennett. Nicks of course would help but the key is protection.

    On defense we are not playing especially well so I think we should expect a Philly type effort. Meaning we bend but don’t break. SF is not as talented on offense as Philly but they will not give up or go away from the run like Philly. I think we match up pretty well vs. gore because he’s an in between the tackle runner and not real elusive at this juncture. I am worried about Hunter because he can hit our edges like McCoy and Richardson. We need to make SF drive. The way they scored and moved the ball last year was big plays. We need to make them continue to execute. They showed last year and even this year failure to score TDs in the redzone. We need to make them kick FGs.

    Lastly, Eli has to protect the ball. We can’t afford a Philly like mistake. He has to make plays and be safe at the same time. That’s asking a lot but if Eli is the player we claim it’s fair to expect him to be great or near great in a big game like this.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      My God, and they used to call ME a Pollyanna about the Giants. I hope you’re right but saying something doesn’t make it true.

      There are a few little problems you don’t mention. Our offensive line is better? based on two good games against inferior teams since Beatty returned and one against the Eagles in which it wasn’t exactly great? Bennett will do well? What about his hyper-extended knee? Do you know that he’s capable of getting downfield? I don’t. Barden can beat their CBs? I’d be pleasantly surprised if that’s true. I don’t know. There are a LOT of suppositions in this post.

      Expecting the Giants to score 30 points is just not rational. Yes, they could do it. But counting on that would be pretty questionable. I’ll be happy to get out of there with any kind of ugly win, and frankly, don’t even expect that. I cannot say we’ll lose. My default position is that with Eli under center we have a fighting chance to win any game against any opponent. But I haven’t a clue what will happen and just plan to enjoy some good football. Whatever happens the season will still be young after the game ends.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Yes, our OL is better. The Philly pass rush is as good as anyone’s. While we didn’t stop it cold Eli had more time than he did in that SF playoff game. Giving Eli that extra time vs. CBs that aren’t nearly as good as Philly’s gives me confidence Eli will be able to pick them apart. I consider Philly and SF close in talent in terms of pass rush and overall defense. We faced Philly without Nicks and still could have scored a lot more than 17 points.

        Bennett is a legit concern but even banged up he provides the presence we had when Ballard was healthy in the regular season game last year. I think a healthy Ballard makes a difference in that playoff game.

        Stop being so concerned about Barden. Hixon is healthy so at most Barden’s splitting 3rd WRs snaps. Yes, he can beat a CB. Not a consistently a starting level one but he can nickel and dime CBs. But in any case he’s a minor part of my supposition.

        I understand most are not going to think the Giants could possibly score that much. But realize when we protected Eli last year in the regular season game we were a hair away from scoring 27 points.

        I think with Beatty and Lockear the Philly game will be on the bad end of what we see pressure wise against Eli. I think against teams with only above average CBs like SF, Eli will have a lot of success with our improved pass protection. I think while not necessarily better defenses teams like Philly, Dallas, Seattle and Arizona are tougher match ups for us than SF because their CBs can match up against our WRs and they have pass rushes as well.

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