Hakeem Nicks is the first Giants player to escape the physically unable to perform list this year.
The outstanding fourth-year wide receiver today passed his physical and is eligible to practice for the first time since the Giants reported to training camp. Of course, the team's final practice at the University at Albany is tomorrow and the players are off Wednesday. And per league rules regarding players coming off PUP, Nicks will be limited for his first three practice days.
But the salient point is that Nicks can begin practicing.
"I'm very excited about that," Nicks said. "They're letting me know that by the beginning of next week I can start doing some stuff with the team; some individual and stuff like that. They still want me to take it slow and be smart about it. But I feel good about being out there progressing myself with the team slowly but surely."
Before the Giants announced the Nicks transaction, Tom Coughlin was asked about his valuable receiver at a post-practice news conference.
"We're getting there," Coughlin said. "He wants to go. He's doing well enough in his drills. It'll be soon."
Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot on May 24 during the team's second OTA (organized team activity) workout. The following day, he had a screw surgically inserted into the broken bone.
When camp opened, Nicks was placed on the PUP list. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to return to the field. Fans attending the Giants' practices here could see Nicks working with the trainers on a satellite field, running routes and building up his endurance.
The other players on the PUP list are defensive tackle Chris Canty, tight end Travis Beckum and linebacker Clint Sintim.
Since suffering the injury, Nicks has vowed he will play in the September 5 season opener vs. Dallas.
"This is an indication that we're right where we should be," Nicks said. "We're on schedule. There have been no setbacks. Thank the Lord for that. I'm just going to take it one step at a time and be out there catching passes from Eli (Manning) and eventually getting our timing back."
Nicks is confident the foot will cause no problems going forward.
"It feels good," he said. "I know it's probably going to take me getting over it within my head, but that's going to come with more reps on it and getting those routes down and getting the timing back.
"Next week, we'll pick it up a little bit, definitely. We'll see as the days go by, what they decide to do. But I'm ready to go."