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Victor Cruz (calf injury) still not cleared to return to practice for Giants

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News isn't good on veteran wide receiver.

Victor Cruz is still sidelined
Victor Cruz is still sidelined
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has still not been cleared to return to practice due to the calf injury he suffered prior to the Giants' first preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Tom Coughlns said "not as far as I know" when asked if Cruz would practice at all this week.

"Progress, yes, but he's not definitely been given the green light," Coughlin said.

That raises the probability that Cruz, returning from a torn patellar tendon, would debut against the Dallas Cowboys with no preseason reps. And with very little practice over the course of the month leading up to the season opener. If, of course, he is ready at all.

"That wouldn't be the preferred way," Coughlin said.

Obviously, Coughlin is correct. There has to be tremendous concern at this point for Cruz, who needed the practice time and probably some game time. Let's see where this goes, but right now it certainly isn't going in a good direction.

Here are some of the other takeaways from Coughlin's Sunday conference call with reporters.

Steve Brown is coming to town

That doesn't guarantee with 100 percent certainty that the Giants will sign the veteran safety, recently released by the Houston Texans. It comes pretty close, though.

"We know this player well," Coughlin said. "If that player can come in here and help us then we're interested."

"Plenty of time" on Eli's Pick 6

Coughlin was asked Saturday if Eli Manning throwing the ball in the middle of the field when Antonio Cromartie intercepted was a mistake. He clarified his answer on Sunday.

"There was plenty of time. There was 19 seconds left," Coughlin said. "We had plenty of time to get the ball up the field and get the clock call in to stop the clock and then name a decision whether we wanted to throw another pass or line up for a long field goal."

Other injury updates

Coughlin had no updates on defensive end Robert Ayers (ankle), offensive lineman Bobby Hart (ankle) and cornerback Josh Gordy. He said all of them had gone for MRIs Sunday afternoon. "I haven't heard anything back at this point in time," Coughlin said.

Coughlin added that he "appreciates" Nat Berhe's optimism about returning from calf surgery this season, but doesn't know yet whether Berhe will play again in 2015.

On the offensive line

"There were spurts (where) we did fine and others where we didn't do fine. We didn't keep as clean a pocket as we've been keeping the two previous games," Coughlin said. "Some things we did well and other things we didn't do as well.

"Overall it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be and there's a lot of work to be done. We did do some things OK."

On the overall defensive performance

"I think we all have a ways to go. I don't think any of it is exactly where it should be," Coughlin said. "There weren't a lot of point scored, but there was run yardage out there that you'd like to think you could stop."

On Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor

"Both of those guys made some plays. They got up there and tackled. Cooper Taylor had a sack ... they got out there, they played, they got that experience in an no worse for wear."

The ball needs to go down the field

Coughlin was asked if the offense is throwing the ball down the field with enough regularity. His answer was revealing, as he laughed when he said "No."

"I come from a long line of, I like the ball thrown down the field, I like taking shots, I like all of those things," Coughlin said. "It's one thing to talk about it, another thing to do it. We just haven't done it.

"We haven't had that many opportunities or taken that many opportunities and it's frustrating because there were some opportunities out on the field last night for some big plays.

"We're not taking advantage of some of the opportunities that are created by the receivers. When a receiver is open down the field we've got to give him a chance."