Unfortunate season ending injury to Victor Cruz
By Michael Florio
Trailing 20-0 the Giants had a tough decision to make, kick the field goal or go for it on 4th-and-goal from the Eagles three-yard line. They elected to be aggressive and go for it. As Eli Manning slung a pass towards the back right corner of the end zone, it looked like the Giants were clawing their way back into the game.
Then Cruz came down empty handed, but not for long, as he soon grabbed his knee and it was evident he was in pain. It may be hard to even see the injury on the replay, but it appears his knee buckled when he planted his foot to leap for the ball.
As Giants and Eagles players took a knee around the injured Cruz, it only got worse as he had to be picked up and carried on to the cart, unable to put any pressure on his injured knee. But the worst image of the night was about to occur.
Cruz, clearly in pain, was unable to hold back tears and sobbed as he was carted off the field. It was quickly reported that he tore his patellar tendon, and his season was likely over.
The Giants wouldn’t be able to recover in the game, but the question remains; can they recover going forward without their star wide receiver?
The first thought is Rueben Randle and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. will both step up and play larger roles in the offense. While this is true, as both will likely be more heavily targeted, the Giants often run three wide receiver sets, which both are already used in. Both will likely remain on the outside, leaving a gapping hole in the slot.
Per ESPN, no player has more touchdowns since 2011 then Cruz’s 19.
The Giants could rely on Preston Parker or Julian Talley in the slot. Another option is sliding Beckham into the slot on some plays and allowing the athletic Corey Washington on the outside.
Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo will have to be creative going forward, but it will be impossible to replace the presence Cruz brings to the Gaints and the attention he receives from opposing defenses.
The Giants and their fans will spend the next year waiting to see another salsa dance. As Cruz came down and hit the turf, the game and perhaps the season, went with him.
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