According to a report by Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants will miss his second straight game this season on Sunday night. His absence in Week 4 will undoubtedly affect the Giants’ wide receiver rotation when New York faces off against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wideout Ramses Barden filled in admirably for Nicks in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers. He caught nine passes for 138 yards.
But he should have some competition for playing time.
Fellow receiver Domenik Hixon also missed New York’s Week 3 matchup and is listed as probable to return in Week 4.
During the season’s first two weeks, Hixon drew more attention from quarterback Eli Manning.
In Week 1, Barden went without a target against the Cowboys. Hixon attracted five targets, catching three of them for 55 yards.
Barden got two targets in Week 2, catching one for 24 yards. Hixon caught his only target, a 12-yard reception.
But Hixon sustained a concussion in Week 2, paving the way for Barden to have his monster performance.
We don’t know if Barden has secured himself a spot in the starting lineup in Nicks’ absence. Hixon may assume that role—it appears that he began the season at a higher rung on the depth chart.
There are also other mouths to feed in New York.
Ahmad Bradshaw is on track to play on Sunday. Andre Brown played well while he missed time.
In the passing game, Martellus Bennett has been phenomenal for the Giants. He’s the second-most targeted player on the Giants with 23 looks in three games. Bennett has also scored a touchdown in each week for New York.
And then there’s Victor Cruz: 23 catches for 279 yards and a score on 36 targets.
If Hixon plays, he and Barden may cannibalize each other’s looks from Eli Manning and render one another uninspiring as a fantasy play in Week 4.