Needless to say, New York Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon has had a rough go of it over the last two seasons. Not only has he torn his ACL twice in as many years, but the emergence of Victor Cruz, along with the addition of Rueben Randle got many thinking that Hixon's days with Big Blue could be numbered. However, today, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride announced that for the second consecutive season, Hixon would be the team's number three wide receiver heading into week one.
While Hixon will ultimately see the majority of the snaps on the outside opposite Hakeem Nicks, the team will still allow Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden some playing time. In short, the competition for playing time at wide receiver will be ongoing throughout the 2012 campaign. However, for now, fans should be ready to see what Domenik Hixon has left in the tank after missing the vast majority of the last two seasons.
"I feel extremely blessed and fortunate and just thank God for being able to come back from what I personally came back from to be on the defending champs," Hixon said. "It’s tough. We had a lot of competition out here and everyday we're getting better. We're still trying to get better a wideout."
The key to Domenik Hixon's success this season will be whether he still possesses the break away speed that we have seen from him in the past. While his advanced knowledge of the offense will undoubtedly play a factor in his overall performance, it's important to note that Hixon is replacing Mario Manningham, a guy who was always able to stretch a defense. While Manningham did not always produce consistency, opposing defenses always had to account for his ability to make plays down the field. If Hixon can fill a similar role in 2012, the Giants offense should see continued success.
The good news for the Giants is that Hixon has displayed no signs that his previous knee injuries will limit his physical ability this season. With that, his work ethic will be an invaluable example to a painfully young wide receiver core. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride expresses these same thoughts.
"He's a consummate pro," Gilbride said of Hixon. "He's always going to know exactly what to do. He's always going to be technically very, very sound. He's very dependable. You can trust that he can do the right thing and right now there's no evidence that there's any residual limitations because of his injuries. Anything we've seen is a very positive."
Domenik Hixon is more than a feel good story. It's unbelievable that after suffering two devastating knee injuries, that he will be able to come back and contribute to the defending Super Bowl champions. However, he is going to be relied upon to play a major role this season.
The time for patting him on the back is soon to be over, and the team is going to need him to be a viable option on offense. Hixon has shown no signs that he won't be able to be effective, the only question is whether he will remain healthy. Hopefully we see him have a break out campaign in 2012, because nobody deserves it more than him.
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