Now, it looks like the Giants will get their No. 1 receiver back, as Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Nicks has come off the PUP list and will return to Giants practice.
Nicks also passed his physical, which is why he could get off the PUP list and was cleared for practice for the Giants, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
Giants say Hakeem Nicks has passed physical and will come off PUP as scheduled. Team says Nicks will be limited for first three days— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) August 13, 2012
Although he likely won't be playing on Saturday for the Giants in their second preseason game against the New York Jets, he's more on target to be ready to play in the Giants regular-season home opener on September 5 against the Dallas Cowboys.
According to Garafolo, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said he didn't want to rush Nicks, but he knows his star wide receiver is looking better and making a lot of great progress towards coming back.
“We’re getting there,” Coughlin said. “You know how he is. He wants to go, wants to go, wants to go, and I think he’s doing well enough in his drills that it’ll be soon.”
With Mario Manningham departing via free agency to the San Francisco 49ers, there's a little more pressure on both Nicks and Victor Cruz to continue to perform and build off their 2011 success.
Nicks had 76 catches for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns for the Giants in 2011. Nicks really showed just how valuable and dangerous he could be in the postseason for the Giants.
In the Wild Card Round against the Falcons, Nicks had six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
In the Divisional Round against the Packers, Nicks had seven catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
In the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, Nicks had five catches for 55 yards.
In the Super Bowl against the Patriots, Nicks had 10 catches for 109 yards.
Having Cruz double-teamed in games allowed Nicks to get some separation and make a lot of defenders look foolish downfield.
But Nicks is such an important part of the offense, and getting him healthy and on the field in 2012 is not only crucial to the Giants, but to Eli Manning as well.
Even if Nicks is limited to the preseason games, the main purpose is getting him ready for the regular season and on track for the opener on September 5 against the Cowboys.
For the Giants and their fans, it's great news overall on the progress of Nicks.
Stay tuned, Giants fans.
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