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WR Nicks ready to go vs. Cowboys


Hakeem Nicks missed practice for the second straight day Monday, but both he and coach Tom Coughlin said the stellar wide receiver will play in the Giants' season opener Wednesday night vs. Dallas in MetLife Stadium.

Nicks, who has some soreness in his surgically-repaired foot, has "no doubt" he will be on the field for the NFC East battle.

"I know it's for the better," Nicks said of the decision to keep him out of practice. "I know they just want to take care of my foot. We don't want any setbacks. It's a big game, opening game of the season; I'm looking forward to that."

Asked if Nicks will play against Dallas, Coughlin said, "I think he will."

Nicks, who broke his foot on May 24, spent most of training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He began practicing on Aug. 20 and played in the final preseason game last week vs. New England. Nicks caught one pass for six yards, but ran around enough to know he was ready to play in the opener.

"I just wanted to get my feet back under me a little bit," Nicks said. "I got about 10 plays in, wanted to see how I was feeling back on the turf, instead of being out here on the grass. I got the feel of it, knowing what to expect. This game, I should see about 60 plays instead of 10."

The Giants certainly hope so.

*Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back) and tackle James Brewer (back) also missed practice. Coughlin said Amukamara will not play vs. Dallas. Amukamara hopes to play in the Week 2 game vs. Tampa Bay.

Tackle Will Beatty (back), linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (hamstring) were limited in practice.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (hand), linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (toe) practiced fully. Asked specifically about Boley and Hosley, Coughlin said, "Hopefully, neither one of those guys will be ruled out from a medical standpoint."

*One newcomer the Giants are counting on to elevate the team's performance this season is wideout Rueben Randle, the second-round draft choice who has performed impressively this summer.

The Cowboys also have a rookie they're counting on in cornerback Morris Claiborne, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Randle and Claiborne were teammates and close friends at LSU, which last season was undefeated before losing the BCS title game to SEC rival Alabama.

"We're really close," Randle said. "We were roommates at one point."

Because he is so familiar with Claiborne – who is Dallas' starting right cornerback – Randle was able to provide some tips to his fellow receivers.

"I told them that he likes to quick-jab a lot," Randle said. "I told them to prepare for that, get his hands off of you, because once he gets his hands on you he's able to control you. That's what I remember from practicing (against him). You have to get him to open up his hips because if he's comfortable he's going to be able to break on any route that you run.

"He's strong. He may not look like it, he may look skinny, but he has pretty big arms for his size, and they're very long, so just coming from experience and knowing what he's capable of doing."

*Michael Coe has played in 27 NFL games, but will start for the first time at right cornerback vs. Dallas.

"I think he'll play a good game," Coughlin said. "I think he'll play well. He's practiced well. He's played well in the preseason. He understands what we're trying to do. He certainly has matched up against outstanding receivers on the other side of the ball. He's a very competitive guy, he's looking forward to this opportunity and I think he'll do well."

Coughlin also said Coe will "probably" be targeted by the Dallas offense.

"I'm not going to be oblivious to that fact," Coe said."I know a team like Dallas, and (quarterback Tony) Romo, they're definitely going to execute. Most teams stick to what they're good at, but I'm sure they'll look my way more often than not. I'll be prepared for that."

*On Saturday, offensive lineman Mitch Petrus was waived when the Giants were awarded offensive tackle D.J. Jones off waivers. Petrus wasn't a former Giant for long. Jones failed his physical and the team re-signed Petrus yesterday.

"My agent called me and said they asked me to come back," Petrus said. "It's a great feeling, it's an opportunity, a second chance, they still believe in me. They found enough in me to bring me back, now I'm going to make sure I bring my end of the bargain."

Petrus said his second chance is a wake up call.

"I never go out there and take it for granted," he said. "You have to go out there and work hard. I'm not out there going 50 percent or 80 percent. I try to go out there, and even on plays that I screw up on, I try to give it everything I've got. I don't play with any regrets, it didn't work out and they let me go, but they called me back. I still have to make some improvements, all players do. For me, just being in-tune with the minor, specific details, it all adds up in the end, it all counts."

*Davis Love III, the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that will compete later this month at Medinah Country Club, and Mike Hulbert, one of his assistants, visited practice today. The golfers presented Coughlin and president and chief executive officer John Mara with USA Ryder Cup golf bags and passed out caps to numerous players and coaches.

*The Giants are 0-4 in season-opening games vs. Dallas, losing in 1965, '86, '95 and 2007. They went on to win the Super Bowl in two of those seasons. Only the 1995 game was at home.

*The opener against Dallas will be the Giants' first Wednesday game since Oct. 3, 1934, a 14-12 victory over Pittsburgh. The Giants are 5-1 in Wednesday games, playing all of them from 1925-34. They are 2-0 in Wednesday season openers, defeating Newark, 32-0, on Sept. 17, 1930 and Pittsburgh, 23-2, on Sept. 20, 1933. The last NFL game played on a Wednesday was on Sept. 22, 1948, when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Detroit Lions, 44-7.

*The Giants have won five of their last six games against Dallas. The only loss in that time was a 33-20 defeat in Jason Garrett's head coaching debut in 2010. The Giants trail in the regular season series, 56-41-2. They won the teams' only postseason meeting, 21-17, in a 2007 NFC Divisional Playoff Game.


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