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Nicks wants playoff opportunity

Hakeem Nicks, 88, of the New York Giants

Hakeem Nicks, 88, of the New York Giants celebrates a first quarter touchdown against the St. Louis Rams. (Sept. 19, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Hakeem Nicks was drafted by a Giants team that had won a Super Bowl and gone 12-4 for the top seed in the NFC playoffs in the two previous years. Of course he figured he’d have played in a postseason game by now.

He has not. But he could get his chance if the Giants win on Sunday against the Cowboys.

“I hear from older guys all the time that playoffs are hard to come by so when you get the opportunity take full advantage of it,” Nicks said. “The opportunity is available for us right now, better than it has been since I’ve been here, so we just have to do it.”

Nicks is battling a hamstring injury that has been bugging him for most of the season but flared up early in the game against the Jets. It kept him from running deep routes. He didn’t say there was a direct correlation, but he noted that in the last two games – both 1 o’clock starts – there wasn’t time for the usually lengthy pre-game hamstring stretching routine he had been doing with Jerry Palmieri since his return in the 49ers game.

Nicks expects to play on Sunday, although he might not practice this week. He probably won’t be his usual explosive self. “You never know, these things are tricky,” he said of hamstrings. “Being in my position you wouldn’t want to deal with a hamstring. Part of my game is to go deep, that’s what I specialize in. But I have to start working around it and find ways to (contribute).”

If he does, the Giants could be in the playoffs for the first time in three years. And the first time with Nicks.

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “I think that’s what we’re shooting for as a team, that’s our team goal. Every guy in this locker room wants to go deep into the playoffs and beyond that. And we control it. We control our own destiny. We have to prepare well, play well, and go out there and do it.”

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