Victor Cruz, just like New York Giants fans, wants to know when the setbacks will end and he will get back to playing football.
"I'm sitting down and I look up last night in the bedroom, like, "This has got to end. I'm tired of looking at reporters every day," Cruz said. "I'd rather be looking at green grass and number lines on the field. You know what I mean? I haven't lost faith, I know that my time is going to come. When that time is, is still up in the air. But I know my time will come back here in a blue uniform with the New York Giants."
Cruz confirmed a report that he had a PRP injection on Thursday, saying it will "hopefully advance the recovery process.
The wide receiver, rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon suffered in Week 6 of last season, incurred a calf injury on Aug. 17. He admitted that while he had run, Wednesday's practice was the first time he tried to go full titl.
"I had run routes a few days ago, some intermediate stuff, and it felt good. I think that specific day, the training staff didn't want to open me up all the way. But in terms of that, it felt good that day. I didn't feel any pain, I was making cuts, I was going left and right even if it was just three-quarters speed," Cruz said. "But the day I ran routes during individuals was the first time I really opened up and that's when I felt it."
What comes next?
Cruz said practicing Wednesday did not cause further damage to the calf, and that the plan is to meet Monday with the Giants to "see how it feels, see what happens from there."
There has been speculation that Cruz would land on temporary IR and that the Giants could sign veteran slot receiver Wes Welker, but head coach Tom Coughlin indicated Friday that the Giants had not yet made that determination.
"This team, this coaching staff, they believe in me. And they've believed in me since I walked through this door and I showed them my ability. I want to give that back to them," Cruz said. "I want to be out there and I want to play and they understand how much I want to play and how much I love this game. I want to just continue to prove that, continue to do what I need to do from a rehabilitation standpoint, and then see where it takes me."
That belief doesn't mean the Giants can, or will, wait forever for Cruz. If they look at him Monday and don't believe he can get back on the field within a couple of weeks they almost certainly will have to make a roster move. Placing Cruz on short-term IR next week means he wouldn't be eligible to play again until Week 13 against the New York Jets. So, they are rapidly running out of season to make that determination.
What about long-term?
Obviously, it's fair to wonder at this point if Cruz will ever be the same star player he was a few seasons ago. Maybe the calf injury will heal, all will be well and Cruz will go back to being one of the game's best slot receivers. Then again, maybe it won't. Maybe this is a sign of things to come with Cruz where it becomes a Jon Beason-like struggle to get on and stay on the field. Maybe he will be a diminished player whenever he does return.
Cruz has three years after this one left on a five-year, $43 million contract. His cap hit next season is $9.9 milliion. Whether the Giants believe in him or not, and I am certain he is right that they do, it's hard to imagine the team not demanding that he take a pay cut in 2016.
While that is something to think about for the future, right now the concern is whether or not they can get anything from Cruz in 2015. It sounds like we will know more about that on Monday.