Hakeem Nicks Limps His Way to 199-Yard Performance Against Bucs

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 16, 2012

Judging by his day, there's a good chance Nicks somehow caught this ball.
Judging by his day, there's a good chance Nicks somehow caught this ball.Elsa/Getty Images

Hakeem Nicks isn't healthy. Hakeem Nicks also doesn't care that he isn't healthy. 

The absolute monster of a wide receiver came into the New York Giants' Week 2 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers iffy at best. Because of preseason foot surgery, he had been limited all week in practice and no one really knew how productive he would be following a four-catch, 38-yard performance in Week 1. 

Um, yeah, about that. 

Nicks—and the entire New York Giants passing offense—went off on Sunday. The former North Carolina Tar Heel star pulled in 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. 

On pretty much one leg. 

What makes the performance even more breathtaking is the fact that, according to New York Giants beat writer Jorge Castillo, he could barely move after the game:

Hakeem Nicks is walking around the locker room really gingerly. #nyg

— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) September 16, 2012

In the words of Kellen Winslow, I think it's safe to call Nicks a warrior.

For someone to pull in double-digit catches and 200 yards is remarkable, no matter who the defense and no matter how many times a team throws the ball.

But for someone to pull off the feat in a condition like Nicks', well, that's legen—wait for it. 

Thanks to an early injury to Ahmad Bradshaw and three Eli Manning interceptions in the first half, the Giants had to play catch-up against the Bucs. 

Maybe they should pretend they are playing catch-up all the time. 

Manning threw the ball 51 times, completing 31 for 510 yards and three touchdowns en route to leading New York to a thrilling 41-34 comeback victory.

Victor Cruz added a decent 11 catches, 179 yards, one 80-yard touchdown catch and one Salsa dance. 

If I was the Twitter type—and I am—I would probably write something to the effect of "#MaddenNumbers."

But no matter how ugly the Giants' first win of the season was at times, the real story on Sunday afternoon was Hakeem Nicks, who proved that no matter what happens during the week, no matter how banged up he is, he's going to be one of the toughest players in the league to cover.