I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but this may be the beginning of the end of that nightmare-ish special teams return game we all suffered through last season. Domenik Hixon was back on the field this week, running routes and moving well at the no-impact mini camp at Bergen Catholic High School.
Both Matt Dodge and Lawrence Tynes attended the practices and kicked to Hixon, who says he feels 100 percent as the one year anniversary of his knee injury approaches. He signed a one year contract with the Giants before the lockout began, so the fact that he can participate now is a good sign for a guy who has one season to prove his injury will not affect his game.
Hixon was one of nearly 40 players to participate in the largely secretive camps this week at the high school on Oradell, NJ. With representatives from most positions present, this was a positive step in preparing for the season, despite the casual atmosphere and complete absence of any physical contact and the constant chant of “be careful”.
Still, players walked away Friday feeling this week was a good use of their time:
“It’s always better to work out with somebody,” said Chris Snee. “Working with the tackle and the center, just making sure you’re not stepping on each other when pads go on. It wasn’t physical by any means. It was all footwork, timing and stuff like that. It was good.” – from The Star-Ledger.
As frustrating as it is to know the players are not able to prepare themselves for the physical contact they will face when the season begins, it is always a positive sign that they are working on the basics and doing as much as they can to be ready. Injuries will certainly be a hot-button issue this year, with many wondering how this lockout and the consequences of being unable to get back into game shape at the normal time will affect the overall health of the players. This should especially be a concern for a guy like Hixon, who has not played in a game since 2009.
The Giants closed this mini-camp on Friday and have nothing scheduled as of yet. As always, we will just have to wait and see what happens!