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Familiar faces on Giants' preseason slate

Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks acknowledges fans during

Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks acknowledges fans during training camp on July 28, 2013. Credit: AP

Hakeem Nicks is no longer on the Giants’ roster, but he is on their preseason schedule.

The Colts, the team Nicks signed with as a free agent last month, will be the third of five preseason opponents the Giants face in 2014. In fact, Nicks won’t be the only familiar face the Giants see in the preseason. Besides their Hall of Fame Game opponent, the Bills, they will play the same four teams in the same order that they did in last year’s preseason. The Giants went 1-3 in that stretch, losing their final three before embarking on a six-game losing streak to start the regular season.

The dates of most games have not yet been finalized, but the Giants know when their preseason will start and when it will end. They open with the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 in Canton against the Bills. To open the “traditional” start of the preseason they host the Steelers. The following week sees them traveling to Indianapolis for the Colts game. The unofficial over/under for snaps taken by Nicks in that game is 10. The all-important third preseason game – which gets an asterisk being the fourth one this summer – will be against the Jets. It’s a home game for the Jets. On Aug. 28, the Giants close the preseason by hosting the Patriots. It’s the 10th year in a row they’ll end the preseason facing the Pats.

Normally the preseason is a mundane routine, but this year it will have some added weight for the Giants. They're installing a new offense for the first time in a decade, so all eyes will be on how Eli Manning and crew are able to function in the dress rehearsals. There are also a lot of new starters on the defensive side of the ball who will need to get some time working together. Being in the Hall of Fame Game also gives the Giants a few extra practices to try to bring all of their offseason changes together.

The regular-season schedule is expected to be announced later this month, and could be unveiled as soon as Tuesday.

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