Giants fans received sad news on Monday when their team announced that wide receiver Victor Cruz —who had missed the second half of last season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee and the first 10 games of this season with a calf strain — will have surgery on his injured left calf and sit out the rest of the 2015 campaign. The hope this year was that Cruz would team up with new sensation Odell Beckham Jr. to terrorize opposing defenses and help the Giants return to the playoffs. Although Beckham is on his way to another terrific season, Cruz will end up missing all 16 games.
While the Giants are in first place in the NFC East with a 5-5 record, they could be in much better position with just one more big play here or there. Four of the team’s five losses saw New York leading with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. A player like Cruz could have made a huge difference in those close games.
“Very disappointing and I feel very badly for Victor in terms of this one issue, obviously the most difficult to get over the hump with,” said head coach Tom Coughlin, “He’s going to have to get this taken care of and hopefully it will solve the issue and he can move forward and so can we.”
With Cruz in the second year of a five-year, $43 million contract, he still has a chance to be a productive player for the Giants, but first he has to get healthy. Between injuring his knee in October 2014 and hurting his calf in August of this year, the wide receiver hasn’t even been fully healthy at practice for quite some time.
The only good news for the Giants is that they’ve been able to run an effective offense without Cruz in the lineup. Now that he’s done for the year, Big Blue will continue to rely on players like Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris, who both made key catches during Sunday’s loss to New England.
“He’s played pretty well and he played well yesterday,” said Coughlin on Harris, “Made a couple of really nice plays yesterday. We move people around in and out of that spot and we will continue to do that, but Dwayne has done a nice job, particularly that last drive. I thought he made two super plays in that last drive.”
If Harris can continue to make super plays, the Giants just might have enough offense to win the division. After a well-deserved week off, New York is back in action on November 29 at Washington.