Hakeem Nicks thinks he's ready for breakout game

Hakeem Nicks runs away from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Hakeem Nicks runs away from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis during the second half of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Nov. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Hakeem Nicks is not worried about Hakeem Nicks.

The Giants' receiver may be having a down year and fighting through injuries, but he remains convinced that he will soon return to the form that made him one of the team's most dangerous offensive players in recent seasons.

In fact, it could happen Sunday in Cincinnati.

"It might be this game, you never know," Nicks said. "It's coming, though. I feel myself getting better, trusting myself a little bit more each game. It's definitely coming."

Nicks said he'll play on Sunday, even though he returned to the injury report this week and missed practice on Wednesday with swelling in his left knee. He was limited in Thursday's practice.

"I did as much as I would normally do in a practice," he said. "[Wednesday] was just taking a day off. It was still a little swollen, a little puffy from the game like it always is after the game. This time it was just a little bit more puffy, so they wanted to sit me down for a day and I got back out there and everything was fine."

What's not been fine are Nicks' numbers. He had the one big game against the Buccaneers in Week 2 when he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for 10 catches and 199 yards. But that was also the game he injured his knee while still managing his return from offseason foot surgery. Since then he's missed three games and in the four after his return he has a combined 13 catches for 152 yards and no touchdowns. Against the Steelers last Sunday he had one catch for 10 yards.

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"Stats is for girls, man," Nicks said. "It's football, man. The season is going to be up and down, man. It's about how you ride the wave and if you let it affect you. I know I'm a great football player and we're ready to make this run after the bye week."

But first, the Bengals.

"They see it's definitely getting better each week," Nicks said. "That's one thing the coaches say, that they can tell I'm running a lot better each week versus when I first came back in the San Fran game. Each week has definitely been better, so, it's getting there."

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