Victor Cruz is still Giant
Victor Cruz emerged after a 700-day absence and scored a touchdown to help the New York Giants defeat the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s been a long road for Victor Cruz. He tore his patella tendon in 2014. When Cruz tried to return in 2015, he tore his calf muscle. He started off this preseason carefully- his practice reps were limited- then had to sit out with groin tightness. Rumors his roster spot was in jeopardy surfaced on NJ.com on Aug. 15, 2016. Cruz insisted everything was on track for the regular season throughout and proved it Sunday against the Cowboys.
"“The Giants make their final cuts and set their 53-man roster on Sept. 3…With Cruz dealing with another injury, the question that started as a whisper grows louder each day. Could the Giants cut Victor Cruz?– James Kratch, Giants beat writer"
He caught all four of his targets for 34 yards, and the game winning score with 6:13 left. It was vintage Cruz. Per The New York Times, he had to “improvise” to get open. The veteran made two important catches on the drive right before the half, which set up a Sterling Shepard TD. Cruz wasn’t just ‘there,’ he made plays.
He didn’t look like his old self. Not just yet, but the season is young still. Cruz will always compete, he’s been fighting his entire career. What he showed on Sunday however is that he can still contribute. That’s huge for the Giants going forward. Cruz provides an emotional spark when he’s on the field. That he can still produce is a bonus to a deep and talented group of Giants wide receivers.
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All Cruz has to do is provide a legitimate threat opposite Shepard and Odell Beckham. In the past, he did it all for Big Blue. He was Eli Manning’s safety valve, providing a target deep, underneath, on third down, and in the red zone.
Now, Beckham and Shepard can take the top off a defense. Larry Donnell is a big target inside the 20.
Cruz won’t approach his 2011 season (1,536 yards), but he doesn’t have to. Not only is he just as important still, but he’s also better suited in the slot. Cruz can still help the Giants win football games, wherever he lines up.