Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting in Arizona that Cruz's timetable is fluid as he recovers from a torn patellar tendon suffered in Week 6 of last season.
Cruz started running at the Giants' facility last week. Coughlin noted that the wide receiver "looks really good and light."
"I think he'll be the player that he was, and hopefully better," Coughlin said during the NFC coaches breakfast, according to the New York Post. "But as far as when, I would be careful. Hopefully, it's the first (regular-season) game. But if it isn't, we've done that before. We just went through it."
The inference was clear: The Giants are willing to play it conservative with Cruz rather than rush him back on the field and risk the possibility of a setback.
"You're not just going to throw him to the wind," Coughlin said. "He'll work his way through."
Beckham and a healthy Cruz would give the Giants one of the game's best one-two combinations at wide receiver. The question is whether Cruz, 28, will be the same guy after suffering one of the worst possible knee injuries.