The hit was violent to say the least.

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading 27-16 in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Giants S Kenny Phillips popped Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson with his shoulder pad just as QB Josh Freeman’s pass was arriving. The ball was dislodged, Jackson slammed into the turf and Phillips popped right back up.

Did Phillips launch himself or not?

 “I peaked around," Phillips said. "Whenever you see a big hit, the flag usually comes out no matter if it was a legal hit or an illegal hit. The flag is going to come."

The flag never came, and CB Corey Webster intercepted the next pass, which helped the Giants to a 41-34 comeback win.

That doesn’t mean Phillips is out of the woods because nonpenalized offenses can still draw a fine. The University of Miami product doesn’t remember how many times he was fined last season. All he remembers is that it was more than three.

“I got a lot more than that,” he said. “I was almost playing for free last year. I’m trying to avoid that again this year, but we’ll see.”

Wednesday is usually the day when fines are handed out, and since the Giants will be traveling for Thursday’s game in Carolina on Wednesday, there’s a chance Phillips could get some bad news before the flight. Even if he tries to avoid the mail for a few days, Phillips knows that can’t stop the NFL from fining him.

“A few times they tricked me,” he said. “Nothing would be here on Wednesday, but Thursday I’ll have one. I got so used to it.”

Phillips believes the hit on Jackson was legal (“I didn’t touch his head”), but while he thinks he dragged a foot, there’s still the chance it can be ruled that he launched himself.

“Whatever it is, I’ll appeal it,” Phillips said. “Wrong or right, I’m going to appeal it.”

Hakeem Nicks sits, but will probably play: Coach Tom Coughlin said he expects Nicks to play Thursday even though the wide receiver appeared to aggravate his surgically repaired right foot a few times during Sunday’s win. 

On one play, Nicks had his foot and ankle stepped on, but apparently that’s not going to keep him out of Thursday’s game against the Panthers.

“I felt this initial sharp pain shoot through my ankle and my foot, but once I got up and got to the sideline I felt it going away a little,” Nicks said. “I knew it wasn’t nothing serious at that point.“

Nicks had 10 catches for 199 yards against Tampa Bay.

Coughlin quiet on injuries: Coughlin did not speak at length about the injuries on Tuesday. He said that it’s “highly unlikely” that T David Diehl (knee) will play Thursday, but he is holding out hope the veteran could be active.

Diehl was not around during media availability.

Coughlin described RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) as “day to day.” The coach made it seem unlikely WR Domenik Hixon would play against Carolina.

“With a concussion you have the protocol they have to go through and it’s a short week,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin on the death of Steve Sabol: Coughlin addressed the death of Steve Sabol after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. Sabol became the head of NFL Films after his father, Ed, retired, and the two are credited with being the historians of the league.

“I feel so bad for Steve’s family and what Steve went through here for the last 18 months was just terrible," Coughlin said. "Our heart goes out to Steve’s family. … Steve and his dad are the recorders of history in the National Football League and what a magnificent job they’ve done, so our heart pours out to Steve’s family.”

Who didn’t practice?: Bradshaw, Diehl, Hixon and Nicks sat out of practice, and CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), CB Michael Coe (hamstring), DE Adewale Ojomo (hamstring) and LB Keith Rivers (hamstring) were limited.

RB Da’Rel Scott (knee) fully participated.

Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSGiants and @AlexRaskinNYC.