The New York Giants got good news on the medical conditions of DE Justin Tuck and WR Hakeem Nicks on Tuesday. Although the pair probably won't be on the practice field this week, as the team prepares for its Monday night home opener against the St. Louis Rams, both players remain optimistic they will be ready for the game.
Tuck (neck)says he will be ready to play on Monday and claims his injury is muscular and not disc-related. He said he is aware that you can't be too careful with neck injuries, but said it was just responding more slowly to treatment than he first expected.
The defensive end suffered a stinger in the preseason game against the New York Jets and sat out the opening game loss to the Washington Redskins.
"Honestly, talk to me right now, I don't see how I will not play on Monday," said Tuck. "And that's me. Obviously, you've got to go through the process of doctors, coaches, general manager owner and going through what's most important for me and what's most important for this football team."
Neck injuries are something to be nervous about in light of Peyton Mannings' surgery and, closer to home, the cervical disc herniation which kept defensive teammate Mathias Kiwanuka out of the final 13 games last year and threatened his football career.
Tuck could only watch Sunday as the depleted Giants defense was undressed, 28-14, by the Redskins.
"If I was given the choice, I would have played Sunday," said Tuck. "I understand, you don't want to go out and cost yourself a year, maybe a career, just trying to be tough and trying to go out there for your football team. Was it frustrating? Absolutely."
Things aren't so cut and dry for Nicks.
On the positive side, doctors are almost certain his injured knee is just a bone bruise. According to the New York Daily News, they will monitor the swelling, keep him out of practice and make a decision later in the week. If the inflammation doesn't subside, he could miss the game. Doctors added that it seems doubtful the speedster would miss more than that.
The Giants could definitely use both players. The Giants defense made Rex Grossman look sexy again and the offense had quarterback Eli Manning looking like well... the old Eli.