EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Hakeem Nicks played sparingly and caught just one pass for six yards.
Yet the New York Giants receiver felt Wednesday's 6-3 win over the New England Patriots was an important step for him heading into the season opener next week.
"I felt good," said Nicks, who saw his first live action since breaking a toe and undergoing surgery in late May. "I feel like I'm ready. I've gotta keep progressing. But at this point, it's full-go now."
He was hit by multiple Patriots on his short catch on the Giants' second offensive possession. But the most important thing was that the team's best receiver emerged from the hit healthy. He has looked good in recent practices but needed to get some live action in during a preseason game.
"That was kinda one of my goals, was to get Hakeem a catch," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "Get him back in the feel, game action, game speed, getting tackled, all those things."
Manning attempted to hit Nicks on one more pass but threw an incomplete pass deep during the same series. The Giants pulled Nicks out before the rest of the starters in the first quarter. Manning stayed in the game into the early part of the second quarter.
"He's gonna be fine, he'll be ready to go," Manning said. "And we'll be on the same page and we'll be able to execute as well as we need to."
Nicks said he definitely needed the little action he saw before the season opener next Wednesday.
"Definitely," Nicks said. "Get somebody hitting me a little bit, getting back in the groove and getting back in the football mindset. That's what I needed."