Victor Cruz Injury: Updates on New York Giants Star's Heel
Every NFL team fears losing a crucial player during a meaningless preseason game, and the New York Giants came close to that happening on Sunday, Aug. 18, when Victor Cruz exited due to a heel injury. Despite the injury, Cruz is expected to be available for the Giants' season opener against the Cowboys.
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 2
Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger confirms that Victor Cruz has resumed practicing:
Victor Cruz was running a route during individuals, planted hard on the left heel and cut inside. For a guy that was in a walking boot a week ago -- even if it was just precautionary -- you couldn't tell he was injured at all.
As of now, Sunday is a go for Cruz. Says he might even be a week ahead of schedule as far as rehab. #Nyg— Conor Orr (@ConorTOrr) September 2, 2013
UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 28
George Willis of the New York Post passed along a statement from Victor Cruz regarding his availability for the Giants' season opener against the Dallas Cowboys:
'My money is on my team,' [Victor Cruz] said yesterday.
Cruz likely will not begin practicing for the season opener until next week. Still, it was a good sign he was freed from his walking boot on Monday and can begin his rehab in earnest.
'Dallas was definitely a target date for me and I knew I had to be ready for that date,' Cruz said. 'Now that the boot is off and I’m feeling good, I still have some time to recuperate...'
... 'I see my team on the field every day and I know what type of talent we have out here,' Cruz said. 'I’m looking forward to us to be able to line up our best 11 on each side of the ball, offense, defense and special teams—and go out there and see what we can do.'
UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 27
Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger has the latest quotes from head coach Tom Coughlin on Cruz:
"From my understanding he's getting better but it's certainly not tomorrow morning," Coughlin said.
There hasn't (sic) been any setbacks to this point, which would be the only thing logically preventing Cruz from playing in the Giants' opener against the Cowboys.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20
From NFL Network's Kimberly Jones:
Victor Cruz in walking boot & using crutches. Says it is heel contusion, has swelling. "Once swelling goes down, I think I'll be ok."— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) August 20, 2013
"Hopefully I can b ready before" 2 wks from now, Cruz said. "I do envision" playing against Cowboys in opener. pic.twitter.com/JxA3lgCxPE— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) August 20, 2013
From Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News:
Cruz said it happened on pass interference play. Said he felt foot go numb.— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) August 20, 2013
Cruz says MRI showed "some blood in there" but no tear or anything— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) August 20, 2013
Samuel later passed along the full statement from Cruz:
'It did. It did. On the way down, I kind of…the defender’s weight on top of mine landed on top of me, and I kind of landed on one single foot, so that’s probably what happened to it. I felt it go numb immediately. I knew something was wrong. The good thing is it’s just a heel bruise, a heel contusion.'
UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 19
From ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk:
Coughlin says Cruz jammed his heel and is sore. He says has no more information on Cruz and Baas. He hopes it's not a long thing with VC— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) August 19, 2013
According to NFL.com's Kimberly Jones, electric wide receiver Victor Cruz was forced to leave the game against the Indianapolis Colts with an injury:
Press box: NYG WR Victor Cruz has gone to locker room for X-ray on his foot.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) August 18, 2013
Tom Rock of Newsday added this update:
Cruz came out in shorts and a T-shirt for a moment, then returned to locker room. Wearing sneakers, no cast/wrap on foot or crutches.— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) August 18, 2013
However, spirits were increased when ESPN's Dan Graziano provided some encouraging news:
Giants announce X-rays on Victor Cruz negative, bruised heel, also out for game.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 18, 2013
It looks like the team has dodged a major bullet, but this is not something the Giants or their fans want to see.
Over the last two seasons, Cruz has established himself as one of the most dangerous pass-catching threats in the league. After breaking out in a massive way in 2011, he salsa'd his way to another 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
Of course, if he were to miss some time, it certainly helps that the Giants have one of the most formidable wide receiver duos in the league. Hakeem Nicks has averaged over 900 yards and nearly seven touchdowns per season during his four-year career, and he is more than capable of standing in as Eli Manning's No. 1.
He just has to be healthy first, which might be a problem. The former UNC star made his preseason debut on Sunday, but he is always an injury risk.
After that, Rueben Randle, who has oodles of potential, has impressed during camp and would likely step into Cruz's place. Louis Murphy, Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan round out the depth chart.
Nevertheless, Cruz's injury doesn't sound serious, so the Giants can slightly exhale—and pray for no more preseason injuries.
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