It seems like yesterday that the Giants were playing against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLI, but in actuality there is a new NFL season right on the horizon. This week was the beginning of Organized Team Activities for teams in the NFL.
With their Super Bowl rings in hand and June 8th being the date set to visit the White House, the Giants are preparing to defend their title this fall and winter. The start of OTA’s signals the start of a new season, meaning it is again go time for the Giants.
OTA’s are relaxed spring practices. They do not include pads and have no live hitting. It is an opportunity for rookies and veterans alike to get a feel for each other, building chemistry and continuity. Teams are also only allowed to have up to 14 practices scheduled for the “down time period” of the NFL.
The Giants have a large number of people returning from season-ending injuries trying to get back into shape. This gives them an opportunity to get re-acclimated with teammates and coaching staffs. With such a relaxed atmosphere, there is nothing that can possibly go wrong you would think. The worst thing usually is veterans holding out wanting a contract extension or more money. For the Giants, worse things happen.
Through the first two days of OTA’s the Giants are two for two in losing a player. During the first workout, cornerback Brian Witherspoon was lost for the season again, tearing his ACL for a second consecutive season on the same knee.
“It was heartbreaking,” said cornerback Terrell Thomas, who is returning from his own season ending knee injury last year. “Just a basic Cover 2 drill, seemed like the knee just gave out.” Witherspoon added depth to a Giants squad that was very thin in the defensive secondary last season. Backup Antwaun Molden was also taken off the field with a hamstring injury, but his is not thought to be serious.
The injuries for the Giants did not end there. Earlier today, on the second day of OTA’s for the Giants, Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks fractured his right foot. He will be out for approximately 12 weeks. The Giants are hoping he can be back during the preseason.
If for any reason Nicks’ rehab does not go as planned, the Giants will have a huge void in their offense. Victor Cruz has added pressure with the departure of Mario Manningham and the loss of Nicks will only magnify that. Hopefully Nicks is back as soon as possible as he is a very important part of the Giants currently and into the future.