EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** It looks like Victor Cruz must wait at least another week before he plays in a game. Two days before the Giants host the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Tom Coughlin today said "probably not" when asked if Cruz will play. The star receiver suffered a calf strain on Monday, and the Giants are not going to rush him onto the field for a preseason game. Cruz missed practice yesterday, and it was unclear if he will work today.
Cruz insisted the injury is not a long-term concern.
"They didn't give me a timetable, but I know how it feels for me right now (compared to) how it did when it first happened," Cruz said. "It feels light years better than it did then." Cruz then added, "I doubt Coach will let me play this weekend, but we'll see." The Giants had steadily increased Cruz's workload as he works his way back from the knee surgery that forced him to miss the final 10 games of the 2014 season. He participated in the second of two joint practices last week with the Cincinnati Bengals, though he sat out the preseason opener last Friday.
He had hoped to play against the Jaguars, which would have been his first game action since he was hurt in Philadelphia 10 months ago. Cruz will now set his sights on the MetLife Bowl vs. the Jets on Aug. 29.
"Obviously, they were upping my reps this week in practice and seeing that I was feeling good and doing good," he said. "It was unfortunate that it happened, but it's a good thing that it's minor and I can get through it.
"We are being cautious, and we are taking our time and making sure we're not doing anything out of the ordinary. The training staff has been extremely diligent and myself with taking our time making sure we do this right."
- Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to return to practice today after missing the workout yesterday because of dental work he had the previous day. But Rueben Randle is still sidelined with knee tendonitis.
- Guard Justin Pugh was asked if he compared dental notes with Beckham after he missed practice for the same reason. Pugh discovered something more taxing than football practice.
"I'd rather practice than go get teeth pulled and not have a back right molar for two months," said Pugh, who provided a detailed account of his ordeal
"I fractured my back molar, so it got infected," Pugh said. "I did it probably six months ago. They kept telling me I was grinding my teeth. I had to wear a night guard, it was ridiculous. Then they find found out once it got infected that there was probably something wrong with it more than just grinding my teeth. I had to go to an oral surgeon to get the image they needed to finally see. So they took the tooth out, put a bone graft in and all this stuff. I didn't know you could do all that.
"It wasn't fun. Now, there's stitches, so they wanted to keep me out just to make sure the stitches healed up well and it wasn't a reoccurring problem."
Pugh said he will practice today.
- Coughlin said "in all likelihood" John Jerry will start again at right guard, though Geoff Schwartz will get his first game action. Schwartz did not travel to Cincinnati.
- Safety Brandon Meriweather, who joined the team Sunday, will play a "limited amount," according to Coughlin.
"He's been here a very short time and this will be his first experience," Coughlin said. "He's trying to understand what we want of him and understand the terminology as best he can. He starts to grasp it; yesterday was a little bit better than the day before."
- Fans attending the Giants home games this season, including Saturday's preseason contest vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, should be aware of likely postgame traffic delays due to ongoing construction on the Southbound entrance ramp at the 16W interchange to the New Jersey Turnpike. Fans who normally use this route to access the Turnpike will experience delays.
To avoid this construction, fans are advised to use either the 18W interchange to the New Jersey Turnpike or Eastern Spur of the New Jersey Turnpike via Route 3 East (Lincoln Tunnel / New York City / Secaucus).
- To provide a safer environment for the public while attending Giants games at MetLife Stadium, an NFL policy limits the size and types of bags AND purses that may be brought into the stadium.
The Giants strongly encourage fans to not bring any type of bags or purses. Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bags into the stadium:
One bag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and does not exceed 12" x 6" x 12.", OR
A one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar) AND
In addition to one of the clear bags noted above, fans may also carry in a small clutch bag, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.
An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the Stadium entry gates.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, binocular cases, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
Finally, all fans must pass through a metal detector prior to entering the stadium.