New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has had a long, arduous season. Defined by injuries, beginning in May when he suffered a broken foot, Nicks missed the majority of the offseason and training camp.
It was unknown if Nicks would be healthy enough for the start of the season, but he would find a way to play in week one. Nicks then went on to have a 10 catch, 199-yard game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week two, but he would re-injure his foot and knee late in the game. Nicks missed three weeks as a result, but has played in every game since, despite not being 100%.
Nicks has yet to amass 100 yards in a single game since that performance, and has only caught two touchdowns over that time. But Nicks won't admit his health is a problem.
"I feel fine," Nicks said Thursday. "Right where I’m always at around this day."
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride understands the difficult time his receiver is having and came to his defense.
"The kid is trying as hard as he can," Kevin Gilbride said. "I could not be prouder of his toughness, and his commitment to the team, and trying to do as well as he can. But he’s not the same player."
"He’s still an effective player. He’s still a good player. He’s just — right now physically, he can only do what he’s capable of, and with the setbacks he’s had physically, it’s just not the same."
Nicks is far from matching his impressive statistics from last year (76 receptions, 1,196 yards). At this point in the season, he has only caught 53 balls for 692 yards. His struggles have had a direct impact on the rest of the offense as well, especially on quarterback Eli Manning. Manning has thrown 15 interceptions compared to his 20 touchdowns.
However, Nicks feels he and Manning are getting closer to being on the same page, and expects some big plays in the next two games.
"I feel like we’re just off by a hair," Nicks said. "I feel like that’s about to change."
Nicks had an unbelievable playoff performance last season, gaining 100 receiving yards in three of the four games, and catching four touchdowns. He believes he is capable of repeating that type of performance going forward this season.
"You just gotta have the right mentality and focus and keep working hard. The hard work definitely pays off,” Nicks said. “I don’t feel like I’ve been going through this for nothing. Something good’s gonna come out of it."
The Giants sure could use something good…
Also…Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL