Ahmad Bradshaw being ruled out for Thursday's game in Carolina? Pretty much everyone expected that. But Hakeem Nicks being ruled out? There's a big surprise. But it's true as Nicks won't even make the trip to Carolina, according to the Giants' official Twitter account. Nicks didn't practice on Tuesday because of his foot injury, but both he and head coach Tom Coughlin expressed optimism about his Week 3 playing status that same day. Instead, Ramses Barden will likely start alongside Victor Cruz against the Panthers.
Barden probably gets the call because Domenik Hixon won't play due to a concussion, and he has more experience in the system than rookie wideout Rueben Randle . In any case, Cruz is the only Giants wideout you are starting this week. Upgrade both him -- he may see 15-20 targets -- and tight end Martellus Bennett . Downgrade Eli Manning slightly, but he is still a QB1. He should still turn in a productive effort. We'll check back on Nicks next week.