Hakeem Nicks is doing his best to make up for lost time.
The Giants’ big-play receiver skipped the team’s voluntary offseason workout program in May, for reasons he still prefers not to discuss. But he’s working to get caught up now, and he said Thursday that he’ll spend some extra time with quarterback Eli Manning over the next few weeks.
“We’ve hooked up twice already this week,” Nicks said Thursday during his Verizon Hakeem Nicks Football Camp for youngsters in Englewood, N.J. “We’re gonna do it two, three more times before camp starts.”
It’s not quite what Manning may have had in mind, but at least it will help get quarterback and receiver on the same page by the time training camp opens in East Rutherford late next month. Nicks and fellow wideout Victor Cruz both skipped the team’s May workouts, and while Cruz’s no-show was expected because he was still battling the team over contract issues, Nicks’ absence surprised – and annoyed – coach Tom Coughlin.
Nicks declined to discuss why he did not show up for OTAs Thursday, but he did point out that he was at the team’s mandatory June minicamp and added that he’ll be in East Rutherford for the start of training camp.
“I was there when it counted,” he said. “I’m going to be at training camp.”
The oft-injured receiver, who battled nagging knee issues throughout 2012, added that he feels “good” and said he is running every route in the Giants playbook.
All of that is crucial for a receiver who has plenty to prove to the Giants this season. The fifth-year receiver is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and a productive 2013 campaign would go a long way to helping him secure the lucrative long-term extension that he seeks.
“It’s big man,” Nicks said. “Talking about it can’t even do it justice. I’ve just got to go out there and do what’s expected.”