Big Blue’s head coach refused to classify Cruz’s injury saying “I just know that he can’t go” but the coach did confirm that “it’s not the knee.” On Tuesday while speaking to the press, Cruz revealed that he was benched due to an inflamed calf, an injury that is completely independent from his operated-on knee.
Timing, rhythm, and match practice are only a few of the reasons Coughlin wants to see his starters on the field but understands the reality of the situation and is fighting the urge to bring them back early, knowing that forcing players back can often do more harm than good. At the same time, Coughlin is prescient of the fact that the season is around the corner, saying “There has to be a little bit of a sense of urgency right now. You’re a couple weeks away from lining up. So, I mean, I’d like to see things done well, done right.”
Coughlin has thought about installing Cruz for the fourth preseason game but is waiting for his training staff’s indications saying
“Well, I’m considering that the whole time," noted Coughlin. "I’m saying, ‘When can we play him?’ Would I contemplate it? Sure. I mean, we just have to have X number of days together practicing before that’s going to happen, though. We’re not going to make a decision the night before the last preseason game to play him. It has to be something that builds up to it, so I know he’s ready to go. I wouldn’t put him out there without that.”
All the while, Coughlin understands that if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, dropping some relatively forgotten history, he says “You know, Odell didn’t have a preseason game last year.”