Hakeem Nicks, Ike Taylor ejected

Updated: August 21, 2010, 10:27 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor were ejected for fighting during the first offensive series of Saturday night's preseason game.

Nicks was blocking Taylor when the two began shoving. The officiating crew said both were ejected for throwing punches.

"I've never been ejected from a game in my life until tonight," Nicks, a second-year receiver, said in a statement from the Giants. "I was blocking downfield and trying to finish my block, and the next thing I knew, he was throwing punches, so I tried to defend myself. I'm disappointed because I let my coaches and teammates down. These preseason games are important because we've got to get our work in as a offense."

[+] EnlargeIke Taylor and Hakeem Nicks
William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER/US PresswireIke Taylor, left, and Hakeem Nicks were ejected during the first series.

Nicks has been making his way back from offseason toe surgery and a hyperextended knee. He could start opposite Steve Smith this season.

The Giants were already playing against the Steelers without several starters on offense. Quarterback Eli Manning sat out after suffering a 3-inch gash to his forehead on Monday Night against the Jets. With backup Jim Sorgi out with a shoulder injury, third-string quarterback Rhett Bomar was forced to take the majority of the snaps.

Also, starting running back Brandon Jacobs (stiff neck), guards Chris Snee (knee) and Rich Seubert (hand) did not play as the Giants try to make sure players will be healthy for the season opener in September.

The Giants had to start the game with running back Ahmad Bradshaw and starting safety Antrel Rolle on the sideline after both were late for team meetings.

Bradshaw and Rolle both came into the game in the middle of the first quarter.

"I read my schedule wrong, so I was late for a special teams meeting," Rolle said in a statement released by the team. "I've been around long enough to understand there are consequences, so I took it like a man. There is no issue. We'll move on."

Running back D.J. Ware and safety Sha'reff Rashad -- the two players who started in place of Bradshaw and Rolle - both left the game when they suffered concussions.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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