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Hakeem Nicks Likely Out Again Versus Redskins

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The New York Giants have struggled to keep their receivers healthy all season.  Domenik Hixon was out before the season even started, and Steve Smith was place on injured reserve earlier this month.

    The rest of the receiving corps has been banged up, with many of the starters missing time.  Hakeem Nicks missed New York's 31-7 victory over the Redskins on Dec. 5, as did Smith.

    Not that their absence did much to slow the Giants offense. When a team can rush for 197 yards, it doesn't much matter who's starting at receiver.

    The Redskins defense should be able to redouble its focus on stopping that New York rushing attack during the rematch on Sunday, since it appears that Nicks is again unlikely to play against Washington. The Giants leading receiver broke the big toe on his left foot during Sunday's 45-17 loss to the Packers in Green Bay.

    With the Giants' two best receivers out again, the biggest focus in the New York passing game will likely be Mario Manningham, who has posted his two best outing of the season the previous two games, with 245 receiving yards and three touchdowns over that span. With Carlos Rogers's status still questionable for Sunday, DeAngelo Hall may have to back up his Pro Bowl nod with a strong performance against Manningham.

    Reserve receiver Derek Hagan was the Giants' leading pass catcher in New York's win over Washington four weeks ago, with seven catches for 65 yards. If the ground game can be held in check, the Redskins would be happy to give up that kind of passing total.

    The Redskins' rushing defense has generally been a weakness but played well in last week's victory against Jacksonville.  One encouraging signt is that the Giants' offensive line will have to be shuffled around with the injury to center Shaun O'Hara. Guard Rich Seubert has generally played well subbing for O'Hara during the center's injury plagued season, but volatility seldom proves to be a benefit for an offensive line.