There’s no more “hopefully.” No more “see how he feels” or “if all goes well” or “expecting.”
When Ben McAdoo was asked on Sunday what has become something of a daily question — will Victor Cruz practice tomorrow? — he gave the concise, unambiguous response that everyone in the Giants organization has been waiting to hear since Aug. 9 when Cruz first came out of practice with a groin injury.
“Yes,” he said.
It’s the start of what could be the most important week of Victor Cruz’s comeback path, a trail that began in Oct. 2014 when he tore his patellar tendon and winded through a calf injury that denied him a chance to play in 2015. Cruz not only needs to show the Giants that he can stay healthy and get to the preseason game at the end of this week, but he also has to flash some of his playmaking abilities to prove he still deserves a place on the roster.
He’s been inching along in recent days, which included going through pregame warmups with the team on Saturday in Buffalo and working out during a players’ day off on Sunday. Now, apparently, he’s ready to jump back in on Monday.
The one caveat to that “yes” from McAdoo has nothing to do with Cruz, really, but what you want to define as a practice. McAdoo is taking the Giants through a simulated game week, so Monday’s workout will not be a full-out slugfest with drills and competitions. “We’re just bringing them back off the game,” McAdoo said. “We’ll get some conditioning in early, practice, and get a jump-start on the next opponent and the corrections.”
Tuesday, he said, will be closer to the Webster’s entry on football practice. And Cruz is fully expected to be there for that, too.
“We’re going to put him back out there,” McAdoo said. “We’re going to put him back out there and work him back into it.”
That doesn’t mean Cruz will necessarily be held back in any regard.
“If we have to limit him then we’ll limit him,” McAdoo said. “If not, he’s going to go.”
Considering the stakes for him this week, the latter would be preferable to everyone.