Some players are content with being dealt a lifetime back-up designation – at least they made it to the NFL and continue to get (or be on the cusp of getting) snaps. Strong, competitive teams view these guys as important depth. The New York Giants have a tendency to hold onto blue collar players that have heart and, at times, give their all for the team. In recent years, names like Rich Seubert and (more recently) Chase Blackburn come to mind, but how about a 6’2” wideout from Akron? Domenik Hixon has made his mark in blue quietly and steadily.
#87 was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006. He was cut later on in the following year, early into the regular season. The Giants signed him for help in their special teams/ return game – which turned out to be a prudent move as they went on to improve their starting field position and eventually win Super Bowl XLII.
Since then, Hixon has made every attempt to be more. His attitude screams nothing but “team” as he patiently awaits his turn to do what he does. He just continually gets lost in a wide receiver depth chart, but makes the most of his chances when they’re finally presented to him.
In 2008, his potential showed when he was thrust into a starting role in the Week 5 blowout home game versus the Seattle Seahawks (when Plaxico Burress was suspended). Before leaving that game in the second quarter with a concussion, he collected 102 yards and a touchdown while hauling in four catches.
In Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Hix would again be positioned in the starting wideout role for the rest of the season, due to the loss/suspension of Plaxico. He finished ’08 with 43 receptions and 596 yards and two touchdowns. 2009 was uneventful for #87 as well as the New York Giants (8-8).
In mid-June of 2010, during open-to-fans day of mini-camp at their brand new home stadium (then, the New Meadowlands Stadium), Hixon suffered a torn ACL, leaving him lost for the season. The Giants waived/injured him and subsequently placed the PR/WR on the injured reserve list on July 17.
After obvious surgery, he vigorously rehabbed and came back the following preseason. However, in Week 2 of the 2011 Season against the St. Louis Rams, Hixon tore his ACL while making a spectacular bobbling catch for a touchdown in the end zone. He was again lost for the season after starting out with 50 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.
Many fans ditched the valuable special teams player and wideout at that point, wondering why the Giants (in March of this year) would bring back an athlete that tore up his knee twice in two years…
He makes plays, that’s why.
So far, he has stepped in and up while number one wide receiver, Hakeem Nicks is out healing. He has been a positive go-to guy for QB Eli Manning as well as helping the G-Men move the chains. In five games (missed one due to being concussed), Hixon has a steady 19 receptions for 314 yards. His most important statistic is that 14 of those receptions have gone for first downs. If health remains on his side, he should be yet another vital cog in Easy E’s passing game – a dependable one at that.
In his six-year career in blue, Hix has caught 82 passes for 1,152 yards and four touchdowns, rushed three times on reverse plays for 18 yards, returned 45 punts for 534 yards and a touchdown and 68 kickoffs for 1,692 yards and a touchdown. He’s also never been charged with a fumble. These are pretty solid numbers for an unobtrusive guy that continues to only have the New York Football Giants’ winning/concerns in mind, no? Silently, he serves as a reminder of what our Big Blue organization continues to stand for.
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