WR Victor Cruz
November 10, 2016
Q: How is your body feeling?
A: It feels good. Obviously the ankle is progressing, feels better than yesterday. I just want to continue to take it one day at a time and see how it feels on Monday night?
Q: Is there anything concerning you beyond swelling?
A: No, no swelling. There is no discoloration. There is nothing like that. There is just some soreness there. I donít want to do anything until that soreness goes away, but still continue to keep it mobile and flexible and keep it moving and those are all the things that we did today in the training room.
Q: Before you got hurt, it seemed like your snaps were reduced on Sunday. Do you feel that is a comment to how the coaches felt you had played prior?
A: I think coach is just taking care of me a little bit. He came up to me and said that they were going to move some guys around and just making sure that everyone is fresh and that they are using all of our tools out there. If you saw, Dwayne Harris got in as well in the slot there, giving Shep a break and things like that. So it is just a matter of keeping everybody healthy and using all of our weapons.
Q: What can it mean for your offense as a whole if more bodies are involved?
A: It just means that there are more guys for defenses to not be as cued up on. I think that defenses wonít know certain guys. It is hard to game plan for four, five, six different receivers, whether it be tight ends or receivers, so it is hard to game plan for that. With moving everyone around, everybody knows what their role is and what they need to do and it just gives Eli more weapons and more people to throw the ball to, to make a play.
Q: The touchdown that came after the play you got injured, were you surprised at how much it started to hurt then?
A: Yeah, it was hurting on that play. Right when I got up, as energized as I was as the next play came about, I was like, ĎOh, that hurts a little bit. That doesnít feel good.í
Q: You did do the dance with the guys there.
A: Yeah, and then I was like, ĎAlright, let me go to the sideline and figure this out.í So I was good up until that play and then on the sideline it kind of hurt to push off of it and things like that. Again, today feels better than yesterday, it feels better than it did on Sunday, so we just want to continue on that upward path.
Q: No specific thought yet on your potential availability?
A: Not yet. We are going to take it one day at a time.
Q: Does the extra day help?
A: It helps a ton.
Q: Do you think there is a chance that you can play on Monday?
A: That is the idea. I want to play in every game, but we will see how it goes, see how it feels tomorrow and then take it from there.
Q: What do you need to do to get there?
A: Ice. A lot of it.
Q: Is it swollen?
A: No swelling.
Q: Can you run?
A: Yeah, a little bit.
Q: When they took the X-Ray did they get the MRI just in case?
A: Yeah, especially with me, we are going to get every picture that we possibly can just to make sure that everything is on the up and up, but once the X-Ray came back negative it was a good sign and then we got the MRI and it showed that there was not significant swelling or damage to ligaments, so we just want to stay in front of it, stay ahead of it and make sure that we are icing it, resting it and all of that good stuff.
Q: Do you get nervous about those things because of your history of injuries?
A: If I can go the rest of my career not having to lay on that bed for 45 minutes, I will take it. But obviously it is part of the game, it is part of the nature of this business. Anytime that you get an injury, they want to get a closer look and make sure that everything looks good and looks the right way, the way it is supposed to be and you take it from there.
Q: Do you fear the worst?
A: No, I donít. You kind of know in your heart what it feels like and you know the severity of it the minute it happens, so you know that within your heart and within your mind and then the MRI may be a little more Ė sway to the left of that or sway in a positive way and thankfully for me it swayed in the positive way. I joked with Dr. Warren yesterday. He was like, ĎYou know, we are optimistic that you can play this week.í I was like, ĎDoctor, that is the most positive thing that I have heard you say in about three years. Thank you very much.í
Q: After what you have gone through the past three years, do you look at this as being a frustrating thing or do you say that it is just part of the game?
A: No, it is just part of the game. Obviously it is frustrating because as much as I love practicing, I love being out there with my team, but you just have to take care of your business. Taking care of this body, in the locker room and in this league is what makes you money, so you want to make sure that your body is healthy and ready for you to go, so that your team can depend on you.
Q: You rarely see the Bengals. Does that make it a little more difficult if you are unable to get practice reps?
A: A little bit, but I do a good job of watching film, making sure that I am getting a beat on this team from a mental standpoint and then at the end of the day, when you line up, football is football. You are going to go out there and see what you see on film and be able to combat that as you go along, but like I said, football is football, man, and you just want to make sure that mentally you are good on how we want to run these routes, how we want to attack this defense and be able to execute once game time comes around.
Q: You said that coach was limiting your snaps to help you out. Is that a result of age?
A: Donít get crazy on me. My birthday is tomorrow; I am only turning 30. Donít give me the age factor just yet. I think it is just more so that the deeper we get into this season, we have been bit by the injury bug, as you guys know, for a few years now, so we just want to make sure that everyone is fresh, that all our playmakers are good to go as we get to the last stretch of this season and then into the playoffs, it is no holds barred, everyone is getting into it.
Q: You are also coming back from two major injuries. Is there a point that they donít want to push you too much?
A: I donít know. I havenít spoken in depth about it with the training staff or coach, it is just a matter of taking it week by week and treating each week and every scenario differently and I think that is the biggest key, is just making sure that we stay ahead of it, everyone is healthy and we are making sure that we are winning these ball games.
Q: What is it like to be back at work and kind of be in the playoff hunt?
A: It is great. It is a great feeling. I remember that feeling. It is starting to get into my belly a little bit now and it feels good, obviously, as a team to get into that mode, but we just have to remember that it is still a long season. There are still a lot of games left and we have to be able to be 1-0 each week and take care of our business.
Q: Do you remember your last four-game winning streak?
A: It has been a while, but I think that the last one that comes to mind is that last run going into the playoffs in 2011, winning those games, getting into the playoffs and the rest is history.
Q: Are you receptive to a reduced role if it keeps you fresh for these games at the end of the year?
A: I want to play every snap. I am a competitor in my own heart, in my own soul, but obviously I listen to the coaching staff and the training staff and they want what is best for me and that is what I adhere to.
Q: So that is putting team above self?
Q: Do you find yourself being extra cautious with your injuries?
A: Not really. A little bit, but every injury is different. You want to treat every injury differently. Everything isnít a torn patella, so you want to make sure that you treat everything as the treatment. You donít want to treat everything as, ĎOh, he had this. Letís be cautious.í You just treat it as it comes. Every injury is different and you want to make sure that you stay ahead of the curve, no matter what the injury.
Q: Did you feel like yourself 100 percent this season?
A: I have felt 100 percent in every game that I have played in this year so far. I have felt good going into these games, even throughout the game I have felt great and I just want to be out there and continue that trend.
Q: You guys are on a three-game win streak and the Bengals are under .500. Is there any concern that you may take them too lightly?
A: No, we canít afford it. We canít afford to look at any team and have that emotion. We have to look at all of these games as winnable games and we must go in there focused and ready to win a game against an opponent that we are not as familiar with, although we did practice with them at a joint practice a year ago. But other than that, we are unfamiliar with this team and we donít see them often, so we just want to make sure that we stay ahead of the film and make sure that we are ready once that time comes.
Q: How do you look at turning 30?
A: 30 is the new 20 for me. If you ask me, 30 is the new 20. I am just excited for another chapter of my life. But I still feel great. I still can run with the best of them and run these routes and do what I need to do to make plays, but 30, at least psychologically, makes me feel a little different.
Q: Are guys getting on you a little bit?
A: Not yet, not yet. Tomorrow they will, I am sure.
Q: What were your thoughts on the election?
A: My mom told me one time that if I donít have anything nice to say, donít say it at all, so I am going to stick with that one.