His numbers are relatively modest, but that’s almost besides the point at this stage for Victor Cruz.
Just the fact that the former Pro Bowl wide receiver got back on the field and started the Giants’ first seven games going into this week’s bye is remarkable. Many wondered whether Cruz ever would play again after a devastating 2014 knee injury.
Just don’t list Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as ever being one of Cruz’s doubters.
“I never thought that,” Rodgers-Cromartie said Tuesday when asked if he thought Cruz was finished after tearing his patellar tendon. “You know how you have friends on the outside and stuff? I always had people asking from the outside, and I always told them that he’s right where he wants to be.
“He knows what he can do and I’ve seen him. I’ve played against him and watched him practice. He’s still got that step to the ball, that movement.”
Cruz has just 24 catches for 331 yards and a touchdown through seven games, putting him on pace for a 55-reception, 756-yard season that would be far below his standards from his 2011 breakout and the following two years.
But Cruz sounded like a man reborn as he departed for the bye week Tuesday.
“It feels fantastic to be back, man,” Cruz said. “I can’t help but smile just thinking about how far I’ve come, and to be at this point now is just a beautiful thing.
“I just want to continue to stack those successes, continue to take care of my body, continue to feel this good week-in and week-out,” Cruz added. “And then, hopefully, look up at the end of this thing and be playing game number 20 in the Super Bowl and laying it all out on the line.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas is still savoring back-to-back victories in which the Giants’ much-maligned defense — unlike last season — was the savior instead of the fall guy.
“It was great,” Casillas said of holding the Rams scoreless for the game’s final three quarters on Sunday to preserve a 17-10 win in London. “As a defender there is not too many things better than that — a strong, strong performance from the entire defense.”
The Giants’ four victories have come by a total of 15 points, the smallest combined margin for four successive victories since Oct. 16-Dec. 11, 2011, when they won four in a row by a total of 13 points.
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