ALBANY - Tom Coughlin might be bemoaning his growing list of injured players, particularly at wide receiver, on the inside. Outwardly, he's encouraged by what he has left.

"Victor Cruz!" Coughlin said excitedly Wednesday after the undrafted rookie stepped in to make several catches in the morning session. "What do we need anybody for? We have Victor Cruz!"

Cruz's best catch of practice really wasn't one. In a red zone drill he made a one-handed grab on a pass from Rhett Bomar in the corner of the end zone. He thought he was in but an NFL official on the spot ruled him out. He still reaped the applause of the crowd and the compliments of the coach for the effort.

"It feels good just to get in there and get some reps," the Paterson, N.J., product said. "Some of the guys are hurt, so I'm just filling in and trying to get the plays down pat and play my role a little bit."

 

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Bear a lone wolf

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With Kevin Boss, Travis Beckum, Scott Chandler and Jake Ballard on the sideline with injuries, the only true tight end the Giants have at their disposal is Bear Pascoe. And he's not complaining.

"I have to step up to the plate and carry the load," Pascoe said. "I'm just doing what I can waiting for Boss and everybody to get back. I see it as a challenge and it's a great challenge. I'm having fun and enjoying it."

His efforts have caught the eye of Coughlin.

"He keeps looking at you smiling," Coughlin said. "I said, 'Bear, you need a break?' and he says, 'No, coach, I'm great.' "

 

Giant steps

G Chris Snee was held out of practices with swelling in his left knee. He called it "just a little camp soreness," but Coughlin said it is something that has to be watched . . . CB Corey Webster (glute) did not practice, so Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas started at the positions . . . S Kenny Phillips (knee) practiced for the third straight day, although he worked only in the afternoon session . . . Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is suffering from a partially torn Achilles and had an ice pack wrapped around his ankle.