The New York Giants got a big boost last week when it became clear that WR Hakeem Nicks was healthy enough to play against the Dallas Cowboys in the opener. The star receiver, who had 1,192 receiving yards last year and seven touchdowns, broke his foot during the spring. The fact that he’s off the physically unable to perform list and ready to roll is impressive.
But… how effective will he be? I talked to Nicks about his health while he was doing a promotional appearance for New Era hats, for whom he is a spokesman. And if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that none of this is surprising to him.
“Honestly, I could have almost been ready to go in training camp,” Nicks told me. “I could’ve been, but they wanted to take my time with it, be slow with it. It was for the best, though. I’m just glad I’m back out there on the field now.”
I asked if he’ll be 100 percent or if he’ll have about 20 plays or so, and Nicks said he believes the game plan will be able to fully use him. Assuming “I have no setbacks, I’m expecting to play the whole game,” he said. That all means rehab went well.
But let’s be serious. Nicks isn’t completely healed. He knows that. He’s under no misconceptions.
“It’s a situation where you just gotta get used to playing with it,” Nicks said. “It’s not going to feel great, I know that, but it’s a matter of me having the desire and want-to get through it.”
Will he have to adjust his technique at all?
“I think I just gotta deal with the pain, I don’t think I’ll adjust my game any,” he said. “Whatever the scenario is, I’m just going to go out there and play hard. When I’m playing, it’s out of sight, out of mind.“
As for the hats, Nicks is pretty pumped (this is Nicks rocking his hat) about his endorsement deal, mostly because he’s a hat guy. And because they are debuting on Wednesday.
“I always wear hats, for one, and New Era was the best brand of hats,” Nicks said. “I had a great collection of New Era and then when the opportunity came, I was excited about it. They want to see some great work and I was very pleased that they chose me. It’s a great company that represents the hat game very well.”