New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks has been frustrated this season, but that is not why he took himself out of New York’s 27-13 victory against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
According to NJ.com reporter Dave Hutchinson, Nicks took himself out of the game after miscommunication between receiver Louis Murphy and himself.
However, New York Daily News reporter Ralph Vacchiano spoke with Nicks after the game, and the receiver said was actually frustrated with himself for not taking advantage of his opportunities. Nicks reportedly left the game because he needed a small break.
After Eli Manning’s pass to Nicks was incomplete with 4:37 remaining in the first half, the received went to the sidelines. Two plays later, Manning’s pass to Murphy was intercepted with Nicks out of the game.
Giants teammates Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown consoled Nicks on the sidelines, but it was far from the blowup some NFL observers thought was occurring.
Nicks told Vacchiano he had “knocked knees” earlier in the drive with Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. After an incomplete pass on 1st-and-10 on the 14-yard line, Nicks said he took himself off the field because he felt "a little bit winded.”
"Ain’t nothing serious enough to even talk about," Nicks told Vacchiano. "We were just talking about football. I think we were talking about the opportunity. My opportunities come few and far between, so I like to take advantage of my opportunities so I was just getting on myself a little bit.”
Nicks was never benched, which proves he was not being insubordinate, and finished with four receptions for 50 yards.
If Dez Bryant's situation with the Cowboys did not show everyone the importance of getting all the facts straight before making an assumption, nothing will.
Bryant was accused of being a self-centered diva (that is the censored version) after TV cameras caught him "exploding" on Dallas' sidelines during a loss against the Detroit Lions. However, the audio later revealed Bryant was actually trying to encourage his teammates, while he clearly was not challenging quarterback Tony Romo.
Nicks has not caught a touchdown pass after 10 games this season, which explains why some NFL observers believed he was frustrated. He has 620 receiving yards, but Rueben Randle has six touchdown receptions, while Victor Cruz has four. Nicks is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and it is hard to imagine he will be paid like an elite receiver if is not a scoring threat, but he definitely was not pouting on Sunday.
“Hakeem is a beast, man,” Jacobs told Vacchiano. “Everybody knows Hakeem is a monster out there. Everybody goes through their ups and downs. We’re football players and we are human and that’s what happens.
“But Hakeem is a monster. Not for one day, not one minute, not one hour or one second am I worried about him not performing. He’s a beast and I look up to him and I respect him and I love him like a brother and that’s it.”
Sometimes the truth is less glamorous than fiction.
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