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Hakeem Nicks 'on target' to play in Giants' opener

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The New York Giants refuse to rush Hakeem Nicks back into action, but after breaking his foot in May, the veteran wideout is making progress on his vow to start the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Nicks told Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News that he'll run routes for the first time on the sideline during Tuesday's practice. Last year's leading pass-catcher for the Giants said he's "definitely still on target" to play Week 1.

Nicks has already managed to run straight ahead and in circles without any pain in his right foot. Cutting and route running are the next test.

The Giants are fortunate Nicks suffered the injury early enough in the offseason program, and there's a silver lining to his absence. The team's younger receivers, especially rookie Rueben Randle, have taken on a larger workload with Nicks out of the picture, which only makes this a deeper, more productive unit (a scary notion for the rest of the NFC East).

Let people talk about Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo. The top matchup on Sept. 5 is New York's gang of receivers against Rob Ryan's rebuilt secondary. With Nicks back on the field, the Cowboys will have their hands full.

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