This no ordinary Monday to Hakeem Nicks.
"Big day," Nicks said. "Going out there and practice. I'm excited. You know, I did a little bit of stuff last week individually, but that's all they would let me do. Today, I get to do some reps with the team, team period, stuff like that."
This will be Nick's first work with the Giants' offense since he broke a bone in his right foot on May 24. Nicks was removed from the physically unable to perform list last Monday. NFL rules regarding players coming off PUP mandated that Nicks be limited for his first three practice days.
Today, he expects to be unleashed – to a point.
"I think right now they're thinking 50 percent, so (I will) take a couple snaps each period," Nicks said. "They want to ease me back into it."
Nicks said he is running full speed. His primary concern is re-establishing his timing with Eli Manning, from whom he caught 104 passes last season – including 28 in the playoffs.
"It's progressed to the point where we're working on the timing and stuff now,' Nick said. "I've been running routes now for two weeks; I've run every route in the route book and haven't had a problem. I feel like I need to just go out there and keep taking care of the things that need to be taken care of, stay on top of it."
As excited as Nicks is to return to practice, he is cognizant of not doing too much too soon.
"My mind is saying, 'Take it easy, but at the same time still be smart about it,'" he said. "Still want to be on pace to make it back for the first (regular season) game. I don't want to have any setbacks. That's the mindset. Still want to progress at the same time though. Get back into the shape that I would like to be in when it comes time for the first game."
When Nicks broke his foot in an organized team activity, the Giants said his recovery time would be approximately 12 weeks. Today marks 12 weeks and four days since he was hurt.
"It's kind of what I thought after meeting with the team doctors and trainers, and what their expectations of it were," Nicks said. "I'm just having to prepare mentally for it, knowing that I'm the type that's always eager to be on the field, eager to come back quick. So it's just me having to know how to handle the situation. It was a foot injury, so you know being a wide receiver having a foot injury, that's not too cool. At the same time, I just have to bounce back from it, like I did, and the time is here now where I can be back on the field. I'm excited about that."
Nicks does not know if the Giants plan to play him in either of the final two preseason games, Friday vs. Chicago and a week from Wednesday vs. New England.
"They'll see how it goes this week in practice," Nicks said. "I think it's going to be based on team doctors and coach's decision, and I'm all for whatever they decide. I know they'll decide whatever is best for me.
"It's important to get your feet wet before you go out there and play a whole game on it, but at the same time you understand where they're coming from, so whatever they decide, wouldn't hurt anything. I want to go out there and get a few reps, a couple series. That's on our team doctors, our trainers, and Coach (Tom) Coughlin to decide."