VICTOR CRUZ TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH, CONTRACT, AND NEW COACH…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to the media on Thursday. He addressed a number of topics including his injury and contract status, as well at the team’s head coaching change.
Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.
Cruz said the calf injury was a rare torn fascia. “It just wasn’t healing right,” said Cruz. “It would half-heal. If you ran on it after like six weeks, it would kind of pop again. So we had to shut it down, have the surgery, cement the calf back down so it can heal properly, and then we’re back to 100 percent… Supposedly after you get it fixed it’ll be 100 percent. It’s a soft-tissue injury so it should heal pretty well on its own. Other guys have had it as well, but it’s something that I should definitely have a full recovery from.”
Cruz has not begun to run as part of his rehab process yet. The rehab work involves underwater exercises and walking on treadmills.
“Obviously still rehabbing, still getting strength back in the calf, but I feel good,” said Cruz. “There is no more pain, there are no more setbacks or anything like that. Now we’re just working on getting the strength back so I can be able to run and cut and all those good things.”
Cruz has three years left on his current contract and is currently scheduled to make $7.9 million in base salary in 2016 and count $9.9 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cruz said he is amenable to have his contract restructured.
“I don’t care about that stuff,” said Cruz. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.
“I just want to play. Whatever it takes, whether it’s with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they’re family. But I just want to play football, man.”
Cruz was also asked about the head coach transition from Tom Coughlin to Ben McAdoo.
“(Coughlin is) my guy,” Cruz said. “He’s the one who pretty much took a chance on me coming into this league and gave me an opportunity. So it’s sad to see him go, but certain things are just out of your hands as an individual and as an athlete. It was tough to see him go, but he’ll definitely be in my thoughts all the time, and the things that he has taught me will never fade.
“I think (McAdoo) has a great temperament. I think he brings a good energy to the head-coaching position. I think guys are going to love to play for him because he understands us. He understands how to talk to us, he understands what gets us excited. And he understands that we need to work hard to get to where we need to go. He’s a guy who can facilitate that.”
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