The hit left Cruz a touch rattled and it earned Clark a penalty. Cruz was understandably a bit rattled by the hit, and he apparently did some damage to his ribs, but he seemed to hold up OK, and he was back on the field before the first half concluded.
The Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas tweeted out the update.
Cruz is in the game for this drive. #nyg— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) November 4, 2012
At the time of the injury, Cruz had two catches for 43 yards in this game, and he is a vital part of the Giants' offense.
Eli Manning is undoubtedly overjoyed that Cruz was able to get back on the field. We will monitor his status, and if any changes occur, it will be noted on this page.
Given Cruz's quick recovery from this play, it is going to be notable for a far different reason now.
Clark was whistled for an illegal blow to the head. It came on third down, and the play in question was an incompletion.
The penalty gave the Giants a first-and-goal instead of a fourth-and-goal, and Andre Brown scored on a touchdown plunge on the ensuing play.
Now, check out the video of the hit here. It was a big hit, but there was no contact to the head, and frankly, it's not even close.
Also, the hit occurred just as a tipped pass was arriving to Cruz. This play did not warrant a penalty, and it is a good representation of just how hard the job of secondary players has become with the increased attention being paid to player safety. What exactly was Clark supposed to do here?
This was a huge call in this game. At the time, the Giants were trailing 7-0. Had they been held to a field goal, momentum would have stayed on the visiting Steelers' sideline.
Instead, the Giants got a nice boost from the score, and moments later Michael Boley returned a fumble 70 yards to give New York a 14-7 lead.
As I type, that is where the score stands with just under two minutes remaining in the first half.