WR Victor Cruz
September 28, 2015
Q: So youíre excited about the possibility of playing Sunday or are you definitely convinced youíre playing Sunday?
A: Iím convinced Iím playing Sunday. Iím as happy as you are right now, you look pretty happy. Your face has this brightness to it today.
Q: Whenever I interview you, thatís what happens.
A: Thatís what Iím talking about. Yeah, I feel good. Iím excited to be out there, excited to run some routes again today. The calf felt great, and glad Odell was with me out there today. It was fun, yeah.
Q: Are you physically limited at all in what you can do? Any limitations?
A: No, not by myself at least. I think the training staff kind of wants me to pace it to not just go from 0 to 100. Just kind of take it and kind of go incremental throughout the week and get myself ready to play.
Q: Just give us a sense of how much you did at practice. I know it wasnít full.
A: I ran a couple routes. I ran on the side with Byron (Hansen), I ran about 20 routes just to kind of get myself used to running routes again, get my body used to running them again, seeing how the calf felt running routes. It felt good, there were no setbacks, everything felt fluid. Only thing is David Tyree doesnít have the best arm, so that was a little bit of a struggle. But other than that, it was good.
Q: Do we need to ask how the knee felt?
A: You can, but no pain, the knee felt great. I spent a lot of time in here working on it, getting it stronger throughout the time I wasnít on the practice field. And it feels good, man, Iím just happy everything started to click.
Q: Itís been almost exactly a year since you were in a game. Is this a pretty emotional time for you right now?
A: Yeah, a little bit. Even driving in today, I was kind of like, ĎMan, Iím driving in and Iím actually going to be putting a helmet on.í This is around the same time it all happened last year. It was a little emotional. I canít lie, there might be some emotions spread out there on the field Sunday as well.
Q: If you get into the end zone, is it the same celebration?
A: Itís the same, itís the same. Iím not changing up anything. Will there be tears of some sort? Maybe. Iím not going to confirm nor deny that. Iím very macho when I talk to you guys. But weíll see, itís definitely going to be an emotional game. Itís definitely going to be a fun game. I plan on just having fun and catching everything that goes my way, and hopefully come out with a win.
Q: Tom said you still have to pass Wednesdayís test, so what are these tests in your mind or in his mind that still have to be cleared for you to make it against Buffalo?
A: I think to him itís just going through a full practice, going through the individual drills, going through the seven-on-sevenís, going through the team activitiesógoing through that and coming out unscathed and coming out without much pain or anything like that. I think thatís the next step, I think thatís what Coach is looking for, and so am I. Iím excited to get back in the team setting. I know itís us, but itís still somewhat of a competition out there and you get to feel exactly how you match up from being down for a couple weeks.
Q: So Thursday might be more important than Wednesday?
A: Potentially yeah, because thatís our longer day, third down, things like that. But yeah, definitely itíll be important. But for me, every day is important, even these offs days when I come in and get treatment and try to stay a step ahead of the recovery process. That day is important for me as well.
Q: What are your expectations for your first time coming back?
A: I just want to go out there, whatever the coaching staff is asking of me, just get that done. If they want me to come in on third down situations or however they want to get me involved, I just want to go in there, be myself, catch everything, run after the catch and just play well. I want to go out there and leave that game knowing that I played well and this is a stepping stone for the rest of the season.
Q: Do you have a snap count in mind?
A: I do not. I do not. At least not yet, thatís all up the coaches.
Q: Itís been so long that youíve played in a game, is there something youíre wondering? Do you need to see something, feel something for your knee?
A: No, not exactly. I think I crossed that hurdle once I started to run routes and know that my knee feels good and know that I can run routes again. I think itís just a matter of the emotions and the anxieties and the adrenaline, thatís what I have to get used to again. I havenít felt that in a little while. But everything else just feels good, Iím just ready to get my first catch out of the way so I can get going.
Q: We talk about the knee but is the calf more the issue?
A: Well, itís the latest one, so yeah, itís definitely more the issue. But like I said, I didnít feel anything today. Itís held up very, very well. I guess all the progress and treatment Iíve done in here is kind of paying off a little bit.
Q: How would you describe your mood the last couple days?
A: Pretty excited. Pretty excited, happy to beóIím obviously with my teammates every day, but really be with them on the practice field, thatís where you feel complete. You donít just want to be in here and the cafeteria, meeting rooms, locker rooms, you want to be out there on that field going through the trenches with them. So Iím happy I got be to be able to be out there with them again.
Q: Hear anything in jest today or welcome back?
A: A couple guys reintroducing themselves to me as if Iím a new guy on the team.
Q: Who did that?
A: Cromartie did that, Cullen Jenkins did that, couple coaches did that. Couple coaches just gave me kind of a high five. ĎWe know itís a long road, but weíre happy youíre back now.Ē
Q: How about Eli? He have any words for you?
A: Not yet, theyíre coming. Theyíre coming, I know that.
Q: What was it like on game day the past three weeks for you?
A: Brutal, because Iím not playing. The first two weeks werenít fun because of how we lost, and last week because I knew there was potential for me to come back in Week Four. The anxiety was building up. But Iím happy we got that victory, happy we played well as a team, so we have something to kind of build off of. I feel good.
Q: Do you feel thereís anything the offense hasnít been able to do without you, that you might be able to fill a void?
A: In any offense, thereís always places to fill and things to do well. I think from a slot receiver position, thereís definitely some holes there that I can hopefully, God willing, fill and be the same player of old, and do some things in that area. Other than that, I think Rueben played well last game, heís feeling well. Odell is being Odell, so I think from a receiving standpoint, weíre just fine, itís just adding more weapons and adding more people for Eli to be comfortable with is always good.
Q: You had Week One targeted for months and months and months. Was there an emotional letdown for you when you werenít able to get on the field?
A: Of course. Obviously when you battle through that rehab and battle through that process and you set the target for Week One and it doesnít happen, itís a little emotional. But youíve just got to understand itís a long season and you want to come back and be 100 percent when this team is ready and this team needs me to be 100 percent. I didnít want to go out there and be kind of 50-50 and not really be myself. So I wanted to be 100 percent and thatís where weíre at.
Q: So itís more important that you feel 100 percent rather than playing this coming week?
A: Exactly. So I just want to be 100 percent in order to play. I donít want to go out there and be 60 percent, that can lead to more injury, that can lead to so many different things. You just donít want that. I just want to be 100 percent in my mind and the training staff as well, and then weíll go from there.
Q: Blood in the calf, that was the issue?
A: Yeah, it was just a strain and it was a muscle that got some inflammation in it. They took care of that weeks ago, so itís good.
Q: Pardon me for not knowing this, is that the same as a blood clot or some extra blood?
A: No, itís just blood. So when you strain a muscle, that swelling is because thereís blood inflaming there to protect it from whatever it strained from.
Q: So there was no procedure?
A: No, I didnít have anything like that.
Q: Just regular rehab?
A: Exactly. Just waiting for that swelling to really go down.