NFL Wire News

Giants unsure Cruz will return Week 1


New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz won’t be rushed back from a torn patellar tendon and subsequent surgery last October.

Head coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday the timetable with Cruz is highly conservative, and the team is going to count on him only after seeing him back on the field.

While Cruz is running straight ahead at the team facility as part of his rehab and Coughlin said he looks “good and light,” the Giants are not sure he will be on the field for the regular-season opener in September, 11 months after he was hurt.

“I think he’ll be the player he was, and hopefully better,” Coughlin said. “As far as when, I would be careful. Hopefully, it’s the first (regular-season) game. But if it isn’t, we’ve done that before. We just went through it.”

General manager Jerry Reese said last month that Cruz is considered a bonus entering 2015. The Giants view Odell Beckham Jr., the 12th overall pick in 2014 and Offensive Rookie of the Year, as the No. 1 receiver in Ben McAdoo’s offense. Rueben Randle would start opposite Beckham if Cruz is not back.

Cruz’s primary asset as a slot receiver was explosive speed and change-of-direction agility. If he doesn’t prove the same type of explosion in offseason workouts, the Giants will not be surprised. The team is tempering expectations and not ruling out a return after the start of the regular season.

“You’re not just going to throw him to the wind,” Coughlin said.

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