It’s hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Victor Cruz during training camp as a nagging calf injury will hold him out for the remainder of the preseason period. Cruz, 28, successfully recovered from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that he suffered last season in a Week 6 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Diligently rehabbing and working his way back to full strength this summer, Cruz started practicing at the onset of training camp; only to have a calf injury flare up and sideline him for the past few weeks.
“I think we’re just being careful, cautious with it,” noted Cruz. “Especially, you don’t want to come out here, and calfs are tricky. Once they feel healed and once they feel okay, you can go out here and mess it up again. So you want to make sure that it’s fully healed and fully recovered once you step back out there on the field.”
With Cruz out of the lineup, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. were unable to produce any explosive passing plays through three preseason games. New York’s first team offense hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, and Cruz spoke to reporters this week and didn’t sound like a player who is close to returning.
“I haven’t been able to jog,” said Cruz. “Not that I haven’t been able to, but they don’t want me to right now. They just want me to sit down and let it heal, let it repair itself and things like that. I’ve just been working out—lower body one leg or whatever the case may be, upper body. Just doing all the things I can to stay in shape.”
Time is something the Giants don’t have as they’ll face off with the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener on Sep. 13. In light of the injury setback, Cruz is still optimistic that he will be ready to face the Giants heated NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, but admits that there is no guarantee he’ll be healthy by Week 1.
“Not yet, at least,” said Cruz of ruling out a Week 1 return. “Nothing has been set in stone, in terms of playing that first week or not playing that first week. I’m still excited for Week 1—that’s still the goal, that’s still the plan, in my opinion. Obviously, the training staff will advise if they see differently as the next week and a half comes along. But we’ll see. So, I’m just taking it one day at a time, and making sure that I’m ready to go.”