Breakfast links: Nicks latest fallen Giant

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
8:00
AM ET
Look alive, folks. There's a game tonight in our division, even if the Giants might not end up having enough guys to play it. That means we'll be here all day and all night. As I believe I've mentioned, I am not in Carolina. The coverage of tonight's Giants game is in the capable hands of the good folks at ESPNNewYork.com. But I will be watching, of course, and tweeting and blogging and all of those things you've come to expect of me.

Speaking of which, links.

Philadelphia Eagles

The latest challenge for Brandon Graham, who has faced no shortage of them in his brief time in the NFL, is coming to grips with his still-limited role in the Eagles' defensive line rotation. Graham has played well, but he's playing behind a lot of very good pass-rushers and knows he needs to bide his time.

The Eagles were without one of their starting wide receivers last year when they played Arizona, and Jeremy Maclin's continued hip problems mean there's a chance they could be without one this Sunday in Arizona as well. Maclin played last week after hardly practicing, but he re-injured the hip in Sunday's game and it's possible he could stand a week off to let it heal.

Dallas Cowboys

I think it's great that Jason Hatcher is sticking up for himself and his teammates. Hatcher's played great in both games so far, and after an offseason when he openly wondered where the leaders were in the Cowboys' locker room, he's done exactly what someone who wondered that should do -- he's stepped forward to become a leader. But if he's going to insist the Cowboys' front seven didn't get pushed around by the Seahawks on Sunday, especially in the run game, he's watched different film than I have. Marshawn Lynch doesn't have the second half he had if the Cowboys are really "knocking them back." But again, good for Hatcher for his positive outlook.

Here's an admission for you guys: If I could go back and do this week's All-NFC East Team over again, I'd take out Victor Cruz and put in Miles Austin at that second wide receiver spot. Austin's played two very good games, and I think because he's been hurt so much and a lot of the focus (for good or ill) has shifted to other wide receivers in Dallas over the past few years, we've forgotten how good Austin can be.

Washington Redskins

You know the scene in The Natural where Roy Hobbs finally gets his first at-bat and you can hear the radio broadcast of the game while it's going on and the announcer says, "Hobbs doesn't like the call. Well, welcome to the majors, Mr. Hobbs?" That's what came to mind when I read this about Robert Griffin III saying he felt like the Rams' "unprofessional" and "dirty" game plan was to get after him and hit him as much as they could. Rams aren't going to be the last team to try that, I don't think.

Griffin got high marks in Rich Campbell's offensive game review, as you'd expect. So did center Will Montgomery and second-year wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who could see more reps in the coming weeks in the wake of Josh Morgan-gate and if Pierre Garcon's foot injury lingers. Hankerson was a starting wide receiver on the coaches' depth chart when training camp began, and they think he's capable of big things.

New York Giants

After announcing early in the day that running back Ahmad Bradshaw, tackle David Diehl and receiver Domenik Hixon would all miss tonight's game due to injuries, the Giants stunned everyone by announcing late in the afternoon that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks would too. Seems Nicks' foot injury needs more than three days in between games. Tough break, losing the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week, but Ohm Youngmisuk says this means Ramses Barden's time to produce is at hand.

On the good-news front, it appears Prince Amukamara is ready to play tonight. He's listed as probable but says he expects to play. Which is good. They need as many bodies as they can get on defense with the offense as shredded as it is.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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