The Giants wideout, who missed a majority of the 2014 season with a torn patellar tendon, announced Monday that he was undergoing calf surgery. The team placed him on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday.
"This hurts, mainly because I worked so hard to come back from the patellar tendon surgery," Cruz said in a video posted by Uninterrupted.com. "And I fought hard, day in and day out. Rehab, physical work, strength work, I felt like I was back to 100 percent. And then the calf happens and it's a tough thing to go through. It's a tough thing to go through emotionally and physically but I know God has a plan for me. I know I have to retool my brain and retool my body to get back to 100 percent."
Cruz said he's excited for the challenge, but "it's a tough time for me and my family ... we were so excited about coming back and being a part of something special this year and being a special player individually. It's out of my control, certain things just happen to your body you just can't explain."
After noting that he was "addicted to the process," an emotional Cruz signed off until next season.
Before the 2015 campaign started, and even before the calf injury, we noted that the Cruz-Odell Beckham tag team this season was a pipe dream. A torn patellar tendon is a brutal, grueling injury that can have ripple effects throughout the lower body. While the Giants maintain that the two are not related, it's hard to imagine this calf injury surfacing out of thin air.
There was a brief period during training camp when Cruz looked like the Giants receiver of old. He was putting together layered cuts and quick-burst movements, but that was only a flicker. In a career bookmarked by setbacks and pitfalls, Cruz has another obstacle to overcome.
Counting him out would be foolish, of course. Cruz already realized the NFL dream, going from near college dropout and undrafted free agent to NFL playmaker and megastar.