Domenik Hixon made a tremendous catch. It was just one that he wasn’t supposed to make.
The wide receiver coming off a second ACL tear sprinted down the left sideline covered by Prince Amukamara. Eli Manning threw a deep ball and the two players turned for it. Amukamara had inside position but seemed to jump a little early for it and Hixon was able to reach over the second-year corner and snatch it away from him before falling backwards for a 45-yard gain.
It was the last thing Tom Coughlin wanted to see.
“If I had scripted it I wouldn’t have done it that way,” Coughlin said. “I probably wouldn’t have had him in there. You see him go down … But, he makes an excellent play, Eli gives him a chance to make the play, and he does.”
Of course Coughlin and the Giants are still a bit spooked about guys returning from knee injuries after Terrell Thomas and former Giant Jonathan Goff both re-injured their surgically-repaired ACLs less than a year after having them reconstructed.
But Coughlin’s gripe with Hixon’s play went even further because the play came 24 seconds and two snaps into a two-minute drill that ended practice.
“You’re looking for multiple two-minute type calls and the ball goes down the field in three plays, so that’s not exactly what we had in mind,” Coughlin said. “The first time you do it you’d like to run some plays, run some plays, run some plays.”
Of course he was (half) joking about being unhappy with the last part. The Giants did run three plays in the drill: An 11-yard gain to Hixon, the 45-yarder, and then a run by Ahmad Bradshaw. The situation had the offense down by two points with the ball on their own 26, 1:28 left, with two time outs. Hixon’s catch came with 1:04 left.
Coughlin was asked if he would address the speediness of the drive with the players, particularly Manning and Hixon. “They’d just look at me and say ‘What was the objective?’” Coughlin said. “Get it inside the 20.”
They did. Still, it was good to see Hixon make such an acrobatic play even though he took a spill and each time he does for the next, oh, five years or however long he plays, folks are sure to hold their breath.
“You know he’s going to try to make the play,” Coughlin said. “This guy is something else. He has no fear. He just went up for the ball and he got it.”