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Hakeem Nicks to play if pain OK

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Will New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks play on Monday night?

According to Nicks, the decision is up to him.

And if he feels the same way on Monday that he did on Thursday, he will be on the field against the St. Louis Rams.

"If I'm feeling good [Monday] like the way I'm feeling today, then I think I can play," Nicks said Thursday afternoon.

Nicks sat out of practice Thursday but said the swelling in his knee is down. He suffered a bone bruise and a hyperextension of his knee in the first quarter of the Giants' loss at Washington last Sunday. Since Nicks finished the game with seven catches for 122 yards, he believes the injury isn't major. He is able to fully extend his knee and plans to participate in individual drills on Friday.

"The swelling went down, so it's a matter of bearing the pain right now -- and it's not too bad," Nicks said.

The Giants signed veteran wideout Brandon Stokley on Thursday though he is expected to contribute as a slot receiver. So his signing is not seen as an indication that Nicks won't play Monday.

"I don't think that has anything to do with me," Nicks said.

And how high is Nicks' pain tolerance?

"I think I do pretty good," he said.

If Nicks can't play against the Rams, the Giants would likely elevate Domenik Hixon to start opposite Mario Manningham. Victor Cruz would also see more snaps as well. It is unclear at this point where Stokley fits into the Giants' plans, though coach Tom Coughlin hopes that he can play on Monday.

In other injury news, defensive end Justin Tuck says his gut feeling is that he will play against St. Louis.

Tuck sat out of the season opener due to a lingering neck injury that he suffered in the third week of the preseason. He practiced Thursday on a limited basis.

Also, tight end Travis Beckum (hamstring) sat out of the early portion of practice on Thursday. His status for Monday is unclear at this point.

Ian Begley is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.