Preview: Giants – 49ers Clash On Sunday
The New York Giants hope Hakeem Nicks (foot) will be ready to return when they visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (4:05 p.m).
The star-wideout was second on the team in receiving yards, receptions and touchdown grabs last season but has missed that last three games this year with foot and knee injuries.He’s listed as questionable this week.
The Giants (3-2) need Nicks not only for his ability, but to take some defensive attention off salsa-specialist Victor Cruz.
In his absence, Dominik Hixon and Ramses Barden have filled in nicely, but have also missed time with injuries of their own. Rueben Randel was the latest to step up with six catches for 82 yards in New York’s 41-27 win over Cleveland last week.
Tom Coughlin will be without starting safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and may have to adjust at other positions as the two team prepares for a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game.
Out – S Phillips (knee), DT Rocky Bernard (quad), RB Andre Brown (concussion).
Questionable – WR Nicks (knee/foot), T David Diehl (knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstring),
Probable – WR Barden (concussion), TE Martellus Bennett (knee), LB Chase Blackburn (hip) CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), LB Keith Rivers (hamstring).
San Francisco is coming of back-to-back wins of AFC East clubs, winning both convincingly: 34-0 over the Jets and 45-3 over the Bills.
Aside from a finger injury to quarterback Alex Smith – who will play Sunday – the 49ers (4-1) are the opposite of the Giants when it comes to their injury report.
Punter Andy Lee is probable with a hand injury, while ex-Giant Brandon Jacobs, who signed with the 49ers this offseason and injured his knee in pre-season Week 2, is questionable but not likely to make his regular season debut with his new team.
Big Blue running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who scampered for a career-best 200 yards on the ground last week, will need to claw for every yard against the 49ers, who rank 7th in the NFL with 81.4 rushing yards allowed be game.
Eli Manning, who threw for 3 TD passes to Cruz a week ago, will have an even tougher task as San Fran is second in the league (181.2) in passing yards allowed.