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Hixon to return punts Sunday?

Giants receiver Domenik Hixon is brought down by

Giants receiver Domenik Hixon is brought down by Minnesota's Jamarca Sanford, left, and Tyrell Johnson, right. (Jan. 3, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tom Coughlin was hesitant to use Domenik Hixon as a punt returner during the preseason because of his return from knee surgery last spring. And even on Monday, when he was asked about the possibility of having Hixon return punts in the regular season, Coughlin said “We will have to wait and see on that one.”

But someone in the Giants organization clearly feels that Hixon is the man for the job.

When the team sent out its pregame notes package for the Redskins game on Sunday, it included an unofficial depth chart. That list had Hixon as the number one punt returner. It had Aaron Ross as his backup and Jerrel Jernigan, the rookie who struggled to hold on to punts in the last two preseason games, as the third option.

This is the point where I reiterate that the depth chart is unofficial and does not come from Coughlin or the coaching staff. But it is a projection from inside the team, so it does have some merit. In other words, this isn’t just me or some other writer eye-balling things and saying “Yeah, he should be starting.”

A few other interesting tidbits from the depth chart:

Jake Ballard is listed as the starting tight end with Travis Beckum behind him and Bear Pascoe as the number three. Pascoe is also the backup fullback behind projected starter and rookie Henry Hynoski. He's the only rookie starter on the list.

The chart also says that the backup behind Michael Boley at weakside linebacker is Jacquian Williams with Spencer Paysinger as the third-stringer.

Alas, the depth chart does not differentiate between the third and fourth receivers. It has Hixon and Victor Cruz listed as backups to Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.

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