Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cruz Back on Field

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cruz Back on Field

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - The Giants have shown they can win with Victor Cruz.

They are likely going to have to prove they can win a game without him to truly make his anticipated return to the lineup significant enough to celebrate.

Cruz's comeback is back on schedule after the Giants' star wide receiver was on the field while his teammates practiced Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 17, when a strained left calf derailed his return from off-season surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.

The Giants' abbreviated practice schedule in advance of Thursday's game against Washington appears to be the greatest factor in limiting Cruz's availability.

As The Record reported Sunday morning, the plan right now is for Cruz to return for the matchup against the Bills in Buffalo on Oct. 4. That would be his first NFL game since suffering the devastating knee injury last Oct. 12 in Philadelphia.

The "Welcome Back Cruz" party on the Giants' way to take on Rex Ryan and the Bills would hold plenty more significance if they can get their record to 1-2 as opposed to 0-3.

In a season that has already featured numerous stunning twists and turns, the latest crossroad for the Giants will come in prime time against a bitter NFC East foe.

"I want this team to win, man," Cruz said Tuesday. "I want this team to go out there, we were so close the first two weeks, it's almost tough to sit here at 0-2 because of the way we played, because of going into the fourth quarter with a lead and not finishing.

"We've been there on the brink of success and just haven't broken through. Hopefully we can get this one, and then hopefully build on it."

Cruz did not rule out playing against the Redskins on Thursday, but admitted it would take "a lot" of lobbying on his part to convince Giants coach Tom Coughlin to play him without having practiced in five weeks. …

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