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Victor Cruz: No doubt I'll be playing in Giants' opener

Victor Cruz continues to rehab from a devastating patellar tendon tear suffered six months ago. New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese was cautious Thursday when discussing the receiver, but said Cruz is tentatively on schedule to return by Week 1.

"He looked good, he's running pretty good, right now and he's scheduled to be back ready for the opener for us," Reese said. "But until you get out there and turn it loose, you never know what a guy is going to do. But he looks great right now."

Cruz told the media Thursday he's been running in a straight line for a month now, but isn't cutting on his knee yet. The veteran is confident he will be ready for the start of the season.

"There's zero doubts that I'll be playing in that first game," he said.

Cruz believes the biggest hurdle he's overcome is the mental aspect.

"I do feel like I can continue to be the same guy that I was before," he said.

Cruz added that he's had to learn patience through the recovery process and knows he'll be eased into workouts even when he gets back to 100 percent.

With Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle, the Giants have the ability to ensure Cruz is fully healthy before tossing him into the fire.

Given the severity of Cruz's injury, the Giants know they must be ready if he's not up to speed this season.

"I'm not counting it as a bonus (if he's ready)," Reese said, "but I want to be prepared in case he's not here."

Receiver is a position the Giants could consider with the No. 9 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Reese said he would live by the "best player available" mantra when asked if receiver was a position he'd look to add depth to with that pick, given the uncertainty surrounding Cruz.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast delves into the 2015 NFL schedule, grading the primetime games and highlighting the Week 1 matchups. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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