New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks did not throw quarterback Eli Manning under the bus.
But Nicks did not go out of his way to protect Manning after New York’s embarrassing 38-0 loss against the Carolina Panthers.
Nicks did not have any receptions during that loss, and he was only targeted once. He had nine receptions for 197 yards entering New York’s latest defeat. NJ.com writer Charles Chandler spoke grabbed Nicks after the game. Nicks chose his words wisely:
"It’s part of the game," Nicks told NJ.com. "You’ve got to control what you can control. I can’t throw it to myself."
Nicks is accurate, but Manning completed passes to eight other players instead of Nicks. Manning finished with 12-of-23 completions for 119 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He was also sacked seven times.
Both players spoke to each other after the game, but Nicks told NJ.com that the conversation was not about his lack of targets. When asked if he was open this past Sunday, Nicks did not blink.
"I always feel like I’m open," Nicks told NJ.com.
Nicks was very diplomatic with his answers, but we will see how long he will stay that way if New York’s offense continues to struggle. This is the final year of Nicks’ contract and New York receiver Victor Cruz received a five-year extension worth $43 million prior to this season. If New York does not want two high-priced receivers, Nicks needs a strong season to impress another team.
For now, Nicks just needs Manning to throw him the ball.