Victor Cruz was working on some fade passes in the end zone at practice on Thursday.

Too bad he was on the wrong end of them.

The injured Giants wide receiver (calf) remains an outsider at the team's workouts, not yet cleared to participate in anything more than some very simple individual drills and stretching. So he put himself to good use by throwing fades to Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle, who were working on catching the ball in the corner of the end zone. Unless the Giants are figuring to run some kind of exotic Wildcat set in the near future, Cruz does not seem to be part of the team's immediate plans.

"He's going to be out there, but he's not cleared to go," Tom Coughlin said. "He's with the trainers."

There has been some progress. Cruz was on the field with trainers doing stretching on Wednesday. On Thursday, he spent time during the portion of practice open to the media throwing those fades and also working on catching passes from a machine. But when the team did its individual drills, Cruz mostly was a bystander.

In his weekly radio appearance on Tuesday, Eli Manning speculated that the Giants may not have Cruz available for games until after the bye in Week 11. That would leave six games on the schedule. It's not a medical diagnosis or official timetable, but it is becoming more and more reasonable of an expectation for a player who has not practiced in almost 10 weeks and has not played in a game since last October.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Cruz did have an MRI on Wednesday to gauge the progress made in his calf injury since the PRP injection on Oct. 1. Coughlin said Cruz has an MRI every week.

Cruz was hoping to be cleared after the tests this week.

"We all were," Coughlin said. "But he still has a little bit of an injury there."