WR Nicks optimistic about Monday night vs. Rams

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Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck missed the season opener with a sore neck, but hopes to play against St. Louis (0-1). He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

Quarterback Eli Manning said the Giants will be ready with or without Nicks.

“That’s just part of football,” Manning said. “We dealt with injuries to the receivers last year and we dealt with it fine. I thought we won some games with different guys playing receivers. We’ll be fine and we’ll adjust. We have guys who can step in a do a good job for us.”

Mario Manningham and tight end Jake Ballard were Manning’s other two big targets against Washington. Manningham had four catches for 49 yards and Ballard two for 59.

The problem was that the third and fourth receivers for the Giants didn’t contribute much. Domenik Hixon had two catches for 21 yards and Victor Cruz was blanked after dropping a third-down pass on the opening drive that would have given New York a first down.

Manning talked to Cruz after the play.

“I saw him on the sideline and (said) ‘Hey, don’t worry. We’ll come back to you. Good route. Good recognition. Just finish the play.’ He’ll be fine,” he said. “He is apt to make some plays for us.”

Still, Manning only threw in his direction one other time in the game.

Hixon, who missed all of last season with a major knee injury, had both of his catches in the second half. Moving forward, he said that he and Cruz need to do more to help out Manning and the rest of the receivers.

“Even if there are just one or two opportunities in the game,” Hixon said, “we have to take full advantage of them.”

A six-year veteran, Hixon just smiled when asked if he would like offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to call his number more.

“Whatever role they have me playing,” he said, “I am going to accept that.”

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NOTES: Amukamara doesn’t have a time frame for playing. The original guess was that he would miss at least seven weeks, and as many as 10. So, the earliest he might return would be the end of the month. … The Giants, with just 14 points, are the lowest scoring team in the NFC East.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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