Hakeem Nicks: 'I'm playing' in opener

Updated: September 3, 2012, 10:29 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Hakeem Nicks was held out of practice on Sunday as a precaution but says he will play on Wednesday against Dallas.

Head coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks felt sore but expects the receiver to practice on Monday.

"I'm playing," Nicks said as reporters gathered around his locker. "You don't have to ask me no questions. I'm playing."

Nicks underwent surgery to repair a broken toe in late May and the Giants have been cautiously bringing the receiver along. He didn't play until the final preseason game in which he had one catch but he has always progressed as scheduled with no setbacks.

He did admit that his toe still feels some discomfort but he will not let it stop him from playing.

"I'm not really worried about it limiting me at all," Nicks said on Saturday. "It ain't feeling great, it is what it is and it's time to play ball."

"I probably just got to break it in," he added. "That's about it. It might take a week, it might take two weeks, it might take three or four days. You never know. I'm just going to go out there and play ball."

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back), tackle James Brewer (back) and Nicks were the only Giants who did not participate in practice. Amukamara is likely out for Wednesday's game with his high ankle sprain.

Like Amukamara, Austin is also eyeing his return for Week 2 against Tampa Bay. Austin took a spill Sunday while practicing on the scout team but came out of it OK and that was a good sign.

"I think I should be able to come back next week, I truly believe that," Austin said. "I feel really good."

Left tackle Will Beatty (back), linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (hamstring) went through a limited practice. Linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (hand) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (toe) went through a full practice and appear ready for Wednesday.

Even though Beatty has been making his way back in practice, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said he has full confidence in starting Sean Locklear at left tackle if that is what the Giants opt to do against Dallas.The Giants could start Locklear and give Beatty a week and a half of more time before their second game against Tampa Bay.

"He hasn't hurt us in the pass game at all," Gilbride said of Locklear. "His protection has been excellent. He's been one of the better performers in pass protection."

Locklear was brought in to be the team's third tackle but he has performed well enough that the team didn't have to move David Diehl back to left tackle while Beatty was out.

"We haven't fallen off because when we've erred, it's not been something that he did that hurt us, so I've been very, very pleased with him," Gilbride said of Locklear. "Obviously William coming back is a huge factor for us to have some depth and then play it out."

On Saturday, the Giants tried to add to their tackle depth by adding offensive tackle D.J. Jones, who was awarded to the Giants off waivers from Philadelphia. But Jones failed his physical according to Coughlin. The Giants re-signed guard Mitch Petrus.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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