Nicks on Claiborne: 'He's a rookie'

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
7:16
PM ET
Morris ClaiborneJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesHakeem Nicks, fresh off foot surgery, didn't have his best game against Morris Claiborne in Week 1.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Hakeem Nicks isn't going to credit Dallas or rookie Morris Claiborne for his subpar day in Week 1.

Draped by Claiborne in coverage, the Giants wideout had just four catches for 38 yards, his lowest yardage total of the season so far in Dallas' 24-17 win. Nicks was coming off offseason surgery on his right foot.

"It was the first game. I was coming from the foot surgery, trying to play it out, see how my foot was. I don't think it was nothing that he did or nothing that they did," Nicks said. "They came out and played hard as a team. We a better team than that first game so I think we have to go out there, execute our plays, play great team ball, play as one, we'll be fine."

Finally feeling healthy, Nicks is ready for his second shot against Dallas, and Claiborne, when the teams square off at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. Nicks has played the past two weeks and believes he's finally back to feeling like himself as he practiced fully on Wednesday.

When asked what he thought of Claiborne, Nicks didn't say much.

"I mean, he's a rookie," Nicks said.

"I'm sure everybody should get better each week," Nicks added of progressing from Week 1 to now. "So I'm sure (Claiborne) should get a different dose than he got the first game."

Nicks added that he doesn't think he has anything to prove against the rookie this time around.

"I let my play speak," Nicks said. "I feel like I go out there and I'm going to play ball like the way I play ball and going to give 110 percent every time."

It will help Nicks as he faces Dallas the second time that his health is not an issue. His broken foot limited his practice time in the preseason, and then problems with the foot and a swollen knee sidelined him for three games. He played the past two weeks against San Francisco and Washington but practiced on a limited basis. Nicks has caught eight passes for 97 yards the last two weeks.

With the injuries, Nicks said it affected his ability to stretch the field and make plays over the top, as well as doing damage after catching the ball. He also said his burst wasn't there. Nicks felt better against Washington last week than he did in his return against San Francisco. Nicks has caught 22 passes for 335 yards and just one touchdown in four games.

"I'm a lot healthier. Especially over the last couple of weeks, I feel like I finally have gotten over the little hump," Nicks said. "Last game I feel like it broke me in a little bit more versus the foot and the knee a little bit. Today was a great practice for me. I felt like I got back to myself a little bit, getting in and out my routes and having that full confidence in that. I think it will be a great week for me."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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