Season over for Giants WR Cruz
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants’ wait for Victor Cruz is over.
The veteran wide receiver disclosed Monday that he needs season-ending surgery to repair a small tear in his left calf. A date for the procedure has not been set, Cruz said.
”I feel very badly for Victor in terms of this one issue, obviously the most difficult to get over the hump with,” coach Tom Coughlin said. ”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.”
Cruz has not played in a game since tearing a patellar tendon against Philadelphia in October 2014. He reported to training camp, hoping to be ready for the season opener against Dallas. However, he injured the calf in mid-August and aggravated it at least twice after that, the latest coming Saturday when he was running at three-quarter speed, general manager Jerry Reese said.
Reese refused to say whether the Giants wanted to renegotiate his contract; Cruz is working under a five-year, $43 million contact.
Cruz is due to earn $7.9 million in 2016. He earned $6.15 million this season without playing a down. If the Giants cut him next season, they would save $6.1 million.
Cruz said he worked hard to play this season and it hurt not to be able to do that.
”There are certain things that just happen to your body that you just can’t explain,” Cruz said in a video he posted to Bleacher Report’s website. ”But I’m excited for the next chapter. I’m excited to the process. I’m addicted to the process of getting better, getting back to 100 percent, feeling the energy of my teammates, feeling the energy of being back on the field again. So I’m excited for that process. And I hope you guys don’t lose faith in me because I haven’t lost faith in myself. So, see you guys next year. Peace.”
Quarterback Eli Manning had hoped Cruz would be able to rejoin the team during this season. New York (5-5) has a half-game lead in the NFC East heading into a bye week.
”It seemed like there was a deal that it would be a few weeks and come back – just a calf strain,” Manning said. ”But I guess he just kept reinjuring it, and I just feel for him more than anything just because I know he wants to be out there playing. And I know it has been frustrating to have this nagging him and now getting to this point.”
Receivers coach Sean Ryan said Cruz was down when he spoke with him on Sunday before the Giants played the Patriots.
”It is not always going to go to your plan and he knows that, and I think he understands it,” Ryan said. ”It is not his plan, but now there is a new plan. He will attack it, he will go back to work, and I don’t have any doubt in that, and as long as you have that mentality, you will be all right coming back from it.”
Dwayne Harris has been playing the slot position with Cruz out, and he has been improving. He had six catches for 82 yards Sunday, including receptions of 30 and 18 yards on a go-ahead field goal drive late in the 27-26 loss.
”The more he plays, the more comfortable he gets in the role,” Ryan said. ”Especially inside in the slot, it takes a little bit just kind of seeing things, because they happen a little bit quicker for you inside there. The more you play, the more comfortable you get.”
NOTES: Coughlin said center Weston Richburg sprained his left ankle Sunday and will benefit from the bye week. Coughlin also said cornerback Prince Amukamara is hoping to return from his pectoral issue and play against the Redskins on Nov. 29 in Washington.
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