The New York Giants are rumored to be without Victor Cruz for at least a little longer, with the wide receiver suffering a setback that will likely keep him off the field on Sunday — and possibly even longer than that.
Cruz has been out since tearing his patellar tendon last season. He was back for training camp, but suffered a calf injury that has cause him to miss the first three games of this season.
Though there were reports that Cruz would be ready for the team’s game this weekend against the Buffalo Bills, that appears to no longer be the case. Cruz re-aggravated the calf injury in practice this week, and now looks doubtful for Sunday’s game.
“He felt the calf again and that’s all he did,” Tom Coughlin said (via the New York Post).
As the Post noted, the severity of the injury and the sensitive nature of the calf could mean that Cruz will be out a while longer:
“Given the nature of this injury, it is likely the last anyone will see of Cruz for quite some time. Calf strains are tricky and can linger for weeks and months. Cruz had been out since Aug. 17, and he was so confident this past Monday that he was ready to go that he could barely contain his excitement. He announced he would make his 2015 debut Sunday in Buffalo, his first game in nearly a calendar year after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee last Oct. 12 in Philadelphia.”
Just a few days ago, the outlook for Victor Cruz looked much more bright. The wide receiver had been making good progress on is rehab, and rumors indicated that the New York Giants would have him back on the field for their Week 4 matchup against the Bills.
Coach Tom Coughlin even noted that Cruz was expected back, CBS Sports reported.
“That’s what we’ve been told. He’s improving and we’re hoping. He’s running. He’ll be running all weekend, and we’re hoping that there’s nothing but straight ahead positives in all his activities, and we’ll see next week if we can get him on the practice field.”
The rumors of an extended rehab are likely frustrating for the New York Giants and their fans. Cruz was out last year during the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. as one of the league’s top wideouts, and together they could form the best wide receiver tandem in the league, if only Cruz could get healthy again.
Sunday’s game could also be critical to the New York Giants. They travel to Orchard Park to take on what appears to be a playoff caliber Bills squad, one with a strong secondary and even stronger pass rush. Missing Victor Cruz could allow the Bills to focus more on Odell Beckam Jr. while also devoted more pass rushers to put pressure on Eli Manning.
But Cruz has the support of his teammates, including cornerback Prince Amukamara who himself has missed long stretches due to injury.
“Any time you have a little mishap it just plays with your mind, but Victor is very strong mentally,” Amukamara said. “When we get him back, there’s going to be great things to see.”
The rumors surrounding the New York Giants and the possibility of a long recovery for Victor Cruz couldn’t come at a worse time. The NFC East, which appeared to be one of the league’s stronger divisions with the Cowboys and Eagles both on the rise, now appears much more up for grabs after Tony Romo went down with injury and the Eagles have struggled to play up to their potential.
[Picture by Alex Goodlett, Elsa/Getty Images]