Week 1: Game Time Decisions - Injury Update
Despite the lingering foot problems that required offseason surgery, Nicks is expected to be on the field tonight against Dallas' revamped secondary (includes free agent addition CB Brandon Carr and first round pick Morris Claiborne). The 24-year-old WR is coming off back to back 70+ catch, 1,000+ yard seasons and remains a red zone beast having hauled in 24 TDs over his brief three-year career. The Giants' passing offense finished 5th in the NFL last season, averaging 296 YPG and is showing no signs of slowing down. Cruz and Nicks might actually see an uptick in production this season with Mario Manningham now in San Francisco. In two games against Dallas last season, Nicks amassed 13 catches for 239 yards and a TDl; he remains a WR1 despite being at less than 100%.
The foot infection that sidelined the 33 year old wide out appears to be a non-issue as he's fully expected to start when Carolina travels to face divisional rival Tampa Bay. Smith had a major bounce back season in 2011 with rookie Cam Newton under center, as he finished with 79 catches for 1394 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Bucs pass defense ranked 21st last season, allowing 238 YPG. It is worth noting that Smith struggled mightily in two matchups with Tampa last season -- totaling just 3 catches for 41 yards over the two December matchups.
The 30 year old TE from Tennessee is entering his 10th season in Big D, but won't likely be on the field until week 2 at the earliest. His lacerated spleen injury suffered in the middle of August was originally expected to sideline Witten for 4-6 weeks. He did receive clearance to suit up for the Cowboys' week 2 matchup in Seattle (barring any setbacks), but is expected to sit out the Wednesday night season opener against the Super Bowl Champion G-men (listed as Doubtful for week 1). With TE Martellus Bennett now with the Giants, expect Tony Romo to rely heavily on Dez Bryant and Miles Austin (both are also battling injuries, but fully expected to start).