New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said he “felt good” and coach Ben McAdoo added he had a “bounce-back day,” even though Cruz did not practice. This is what it has come to as the former Pro Bowl receiver tries to return from a groin injury following a calf injury following a knee injury.
Cruz hasn’t played a game in 675 days. He did work on a side field Wednesday while his teammates practiced, and offered a warning to those that don’t believe his comeback will ever happen.
Cruz’s message to the doubters: “Tune in!”
Cruz said they ramped up his work on Wednesday. He’ll be doing change of direction stuff later this week.
Playing in Saturday’s second preseason game of the year in Buffalo is not going to happen. McAdoo wants Cruz to get in several consecutive days of work before getting into a game.
The Giants have one more practice Thursday before playing the Bills.
“He has to make it through the week of practice and be cleared by the medical staff,” McAdoo said.
Cruz hasn’t completed a practice since last Monday. He left with tightness in his groin last Tuesday and tried to return on Sunday. That didn’t go well. He felt pain during that practice and was unable to finish. Cruz has been sidelined ever since.
He’s remained optimistic despite the long line of health struggles.
“I feel good. Mentally, I am in a good space,” Cruz said. “I just want to continue to listen to the training staff, continue to listen to my body and go about things the right way.”
Cruz felt it was necessary to meet with McAdoo earlier in the week to discuss his situation. McAdoo disclosed there was a conversation, but declined to offer details.
Cruz did the same on Wednesday.
“It was a personal conversation, but it was one that I feel like I needed to have with him just to let him know where I was mentally because a lot of it is just between the training staff and they report to him what the injuries are or whatever the case may be throughout the day and throughout the week and I wanted to personally talk to him about how I felt and the things that I have felt in my mind and in my heart about the past two years and what is happening now and things like that,” Cruz said. “It was a good conversation between men, like you said, and it was a personal one that I want to keep in house.”
The Giants have been patient with the oft-injured receiver. General manager Jerry Reese said in radio interviews earlier this week that the team has not given up on Cruz yet.
There is some time. The Giants season opener remains 25 days away. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Dwayne Harris have said Cruz only needs to be ready on Sept. 11 when the Giants face the Dallas Cowboys in Texas.
“He’s earned it,” Harris said.
Cruz, 29, helped the Giants to Super Bowl XLVI during the 2011 season and was named to the Pro Bowl the following year. He has 264 catches for 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns in 52 career games.