When asked last Thursday if the abdomen strain was something that would keep him out Sunday, Nicks was confident he would be on the field.
"It's Dallas, man," he said.
Well, the Cowboys were there but Nicks was not, not giving the Giants their best chance for a win. Even in this trying season where he has not scored a TD, his absence left the team with one less weapon to attack Dallas' 32nd ranked pass defense with.
"He didn’t practice all week. We made the decision not to play him," Tom Coughlin said.
QB Eli Manning affirmed the coach's decision:
"He didn’t practice all week, for the most part. He maybe got a few plays in, but for the most part he did not practice, and didn’t practice much on Friday," Manning said. "I didn’t know what the circumstances were, but usually if you don’t practice very much, there’s a good chance you’re not going to play."
Manning, who said the wind wasn't really a factor, finished 16 of 30 for 174 yards and 2 TDs with no INTs. But in some key spots he looked for Jerrel Jernigan, Nicks' replacement, and Jernigan wasn't there. Eli targeted the former third-round pick seven times yesterday, completing only two for 24 yards.
"One play, two plays out of 62," commented Coughlin on the miscommunications. "It’s guys that haven’t started before, haven’t played that much. I don’t want it to happen, but does it happen? Yeah, it happens. Take a look when their quarterback runs down field and runs and screams at one of their receivers. It happens."
The Giants ran the ball well again yesterday (202 yards) but clearly needed to balance that out with their passing game. With no Hakeem Nicks, they're finding that hard to do.