Hakeem Nicks’ streak without a touchdown will continue, and this game has not even been played yet.
The wide receiver will be one of the Giants’ inactives for the game against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Nicks had missed several practices this week with an abdomen injury (which was initially described as a groin issue), but had assured reporters on Thursday that he would be on the field for the Giants’ biggest game of the year against their biggest rival.
“C’mon man,” he said when asked if he would play, “it’s Dallas, man.”
Nicks said on Thursday that the injury had been nagging him throughout the season, but he downplayed its significance. “I don’t think it’s gonna be anything like that to bother me,” he said of potentially missing snaps. Nicks also said that he was advised by his agent to have the injury checked out; Tom Coughlin said the Giants were not even aware there was an issue until Wednesday morning when Nicks reported to the facility and asked for tests.
That Nicks mentioned twice that he was advised by his agent to have the tests done at the very least casts a light on the situation that makes it appear to be a decision at least partially based in business and not entirely on football.
“Got good feedback,” he said of that check-up. “Everything was fine.”
With Nicks out of the lineup, the Giants will have Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle as their starting receivers. That’s not a bad backup play. But beyond them they’ll have to rely on Jerrel Jernigan and Louis Murphy Jr. as the third receiver. That’s not as appetizing as options.
Nicks hasn’t caught a touchdown in his last 13 games. Last week his frustration appeared to boil over when he took himself out of the game momentarily after not catching a pass from Eli Manning in the end zone. With Nicks on the sideline, Manning threw an interception towards Murphy, who ran the wrong route while spelling Nicks.
With winds whipping around MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the Giants didn’t figure to rely too much on their passing game anyway. Perhaps those conditions played into the decision to sit Nicks. But even if they didn’t, the long and strange 2013 season for a player who has caught more passes from Eli Manning than any player in history continues to get stranger.
Oh, by the way: The rest of the Giants’ inactives are Ryan Nassib, Corey Webster, Peyton Hillis, Dallas Reynolds, Markus Kuhn, Adrien Robinson and Hakeem Nicks.