Can it get any worse for the Giants' shrinking corps of pass-catchers?
With Steve Smith already out at least another week or two with a partially torn pectoral muscle, the Giants have now lost Hakeem Nicks for an indefinite period. Nicks, who caught six passes for 65 yards against Philadelphia Sunday night, is expected to miss at least three weeks with what is being called "compartment leg syndrome."
Nicks already has played through several ankle sprains this year. But this latest crisis, which apparently involved a medical procedure, will sideline him and deplete a receiving corps that lined up Mario Manningham in Smith's spot, Nicks, and newly-signed Giants veteran Derek Hagan at the top three spots. Hagan will now move up to No. 2 receiver, with undrafted and raw rookie Duke Calhoun necessarily taking over the No. 3 spot.
Tight end Travis Beckum saw limited action in the passing game Sunday night, his only reception going for a 2-yard touchdown, but that role could be expanded.
Compartment Syndrome, which appeared in Nicks' lower right leg, involves potential nerve and muscle tissue damage and often is consistent with swelling in the forearm or lower leg. Nicks suffered the injury late, and was spotted limping off the field.
Missing Nicks' big-play potential stands as another huge blow to the Giants' declining passing game. They are already missing Smith's reliability on third-down, and now they lack any true downfield threat. That will allow teams to key all the more on fumble-prone running back Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.