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Nicks Misses Second Straight Practice, Shaun O’Hara Officially Retires

Hakeem Nicks (credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Hakeem Nicks (credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks vowed to play in the New York Giants season opener against the Dallas Cowboys despite missing his second straight practice.

Nicks recently returned to the active roster after breaking his right foot in an organized team activity in May. He played a couple of series in the preseason finale against New England.

The medical staff had him rest his foot on Sunday and he was told to do the same thing Monday, just two days before the NFL Kickoff game for the Super Bowl champions.

“I know it’s for the better. I know they just want to take care of my foot,” said Nicks, who had a career-best 1,192 yards receiving in 15 regular season games last year. “We don’t want any setbacks. It’s a big game, opening game of the season. I’m looking forward to that.”

Nicks, who gives Eli Manning a dynamic 1-2 punch with Victor Cruz, led the Giants in receiving in the playoffs with 28 catches for 444 yards and four touchdowns.

Three-time Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara officially retired as a member of the Giants on Monday.

O’Hara, who played the final seven years of his 11-year NFL career with the Giants and was a captain of their Super Bowl winning team in 2008, sat out last season after being cut by the Giants in a salary-cap move. He had had ankle and foot surgeries during that offseason.

“I’ve been dreading this day my entire career,” O’Hara said at a news conference after the Giants practiced. “Admitting to myself as well as publicly that my body can no longer keep up with the demands of being a professional athlete. I wasn’t the most gifted athlete, but I learned early on in my life that perseverance is more valuable than talent. I can honestly say that I squeezed every ounce of ability out of my body and I have no regrets.”

O’Hara announced he also has joined NFL Network as an analyst. The former Rutgers product will appear on NFL Total Access, joining former Super Bowl champions Willie McGinest, Heath Evans and Darren Sharper, and hosts Andrew Siciliano, Lindsay Rhodes and Scott Hanson.

Getting cut on Saturday and being re-signed on Sunday was a wake-call for third-year guard Mitch Petrus.

“That’s what I’ve been calling it,” Petrus said Monday. “I never go out there and take it for granted. I know you have to go out there every day and work hard and I’m not out there half, going 50 percent or 80 percent. I try to go out every play. Even plays I screw up I give it everything I got. That way I don’t play with any regrets.

“It didn’t work out and they let me go, but they called me back. I still have to make some improvements as all players do, but for me just being in tune with the specific minor details, it all adds up in the end. Everything counts.”

Petrus got a job back when offensive tackle D.J. Jones failed his physical and was waived. Petrus was sitting at his home in nearby Secaucus when his agent called to tell him to Giants wanted him back.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s an opportunity, a second chance, they still believe in me,” the former Arkansas product said. “They found enough in me to bring me back, now I’m going to make sure I bring my end of the bargain.”

EXTRA POINTS: Giants WR Victor Cruz intends to resume his salsa dancing after touchdowns. He put a ban on it in the preseason but said his grandmother would be annoyed with him if he stopped the tradition. “I can’t have grandma on my bad side.” … CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), DT Marvin Austin (back) and OT James Brewer (back) also missed practice Monday. Coughlin said anyone who has missed practice all week would not play Wednesday. …OT Will Beatty (back), LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) and DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Kiwanuka said he will be 100 percent Wednesday. …RB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand), LB Michael Boley (hamstring) and CB Jayron Hosley (toe) practiced fully. Hosley said he expects to play as the nickel back