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WR Hakeem Nicks expects to play Sunday


Hakeem Nicks has no intention of being a game-day spectator again, which means he intends to be in uniform when the Giants return to action Sunday night in Philadelphia.

"I definitely anticipate playing," Nicks said today.

The Giants' splendid fourth-year wide receiver missed the team's 36-7 victory last Thursday in Carolina because of concern about his surgically-mended right foot. Nicks played in the Giants' victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 16. Indeed, he played so well (10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown) that he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

But asking him to play another game four days later was a risk the team's doctors and athletic trainers were not willing to take.

"I don't think it was a setback," Nicks said of how his foot reacted after the Buccaneers game. "I think it was more of a cautious situation where it was just too quick of a turnaround on the foot, all that pounding on the foot that I did that last game.

"I think if it was a regular Sunday and it was a normal week, I would've been able to go out there and compete."

Coach Tom Coughlin said the rest Nicks got on the long weekend helped – "It certainly didn't hurt him," Coughlin said – and Nicks will continue to practice once a week.

"The body is feeling pretty good right about now," Nicks said, "so get out there and practice this week and see how it goes."

Nicks didn't practice last Wednesday before the team flew to Charlotte but was hopeful of playing. But he is completely onboard with the medical department's strategy of trying to keep him healthy for the long-term.

"It didn't feel great, but it wasn't too bad," Nicks said. "I had to look at the situation and I knew we had another big game coming up with Philly, so when they told me, I just took it in stride, pull up the positive aspect about it. I'll be ready to go for Philly."

One of the toughest aspects of his absence last week was that Nicks missed what would have been his first regular-season game in his hometown.

"I'm not going to say it was difficult, but it's just the decision that we had to make," Nicks said. "We had to be smart. It's still early in the season. It was just too quick of a turnaround. Coaches and the team trainers and the doctor decided to go ahead and sit this one out, so that's what I had to do."

He doesn't plan to make it a habit.


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