Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Hakeem Nicks injured his knee in Week 2 and never looked the same. That was no small problem for the Giants, whose offensive struggles ended their year early.
Hakeem Nicks has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, reports NFL.com. The New York Giants wide receiver injured the knee in Week 2's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and after missing the next three games, returned as an inconsistent contributor to the Giants' offense.
Nicks was targeted 100 times by Eli Manning, catching 53 of those passes for a career-low 692 yards. That comes after two straight 1,000 yard seasons, and is a big step down from 76 catches from 133 targets for 1,192 yards in 2011. Nicks' Week 2 totals of 10 catches for 199 yards ended up as his season high, as the wideout went the rest of the season without reaching double digit catches or gaining more than 80 yards. The Giants' top 10 passing offense dropped toward the middle of the league, finishing ranked No. 12, and the team failed to make the playoffs despite standing 6-2 at midseason.
Despite that, Nicks is undoubtedly a strong receiver. The Giants have reported that they consider him a higher priority than current restricted free agent Victor Cruz, something Ed Valentine at Big Blue View questions. Opposing defenses had the same priorities in 2012, as an under-performing Nicks allowed them to shift coverage over to Cruz.
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