Former Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks broke to the left side of the field before turning to catch a short pass that became a 15-yard gain for his new team, the Indianapolis Colts.

The play, in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Jets Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, was a baby step for Nicks, who is coming off a down year.

"He made that first big catch on third-and-11 on that first drive," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of Nicks' reception, his only one of the game, from quarterback Andrew Luck. "Great throw, great catch."

Nicks, who signed a one-year, $3.975-million contract with the Colts during the offseason, is starting over with a new quarterback, playbook and logo after five years with the Giants.

The 26-year-old is coming off two statistically down years after posting consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He is a third-stringer on the depth chart behind T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne (who was rested against the Jets).

Nicks wasn't available for comment after the game.

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Nicks, a 6-1, 208-pounder, hasn't been a standout through training camp, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton told reporters in a news conference last Friday. Questions remain about whether he will be a legitimate weapon on offense.

But Nicks looked comfortable in his first preseason game, and Pagano took notice.

"He's tracking," he said, "to help us play great offensive football and win a lot of football games. He's fitting in really well. He's doing a good job."