The story of who will salsa and why on Sunday has taken as many twists and curves as, well, a salsa dance.
It all started when 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers imitated Victor Cruz's moves after an interception in a game between the teams last November. Cruz avenged that insult with a 10-catch performance in the NFC Championship Game. Then, on Tuesday, Rogers said he would dance again if he made a play in Sunday's game against the Giants.
Cruz coldly said yesterday he "[couldn't] care less" about that, but in a conference call with the San Francisco media he said the first dance was "a slap in the face" and he felt "disrespected." As for any future Rogers salsas, Cruz said: "I obviously won't be OK with that . . . He'll choose what he wants to do. I won't retaliate or do something crazy. But it won't sit well with me."
Cruz then explained, as it is fairly well-known here in New York, that the salsa dance to celebrate touchdowns is a tribute to his grandmother. She passed away last month.
"It's something that's sacred for me, something that due to her passing and even before she passed away, it was something that was dear to me," Cruz said.
Later, that information was relayed to Rogers and he told the San Jose Mercury News that knowing the salsa was a tribute to Cruz's departed grandmother changed his view on repeating the dance Sunday.
Oh, and in the middle of all of this, Cruz basically called out Rogers when asked what he could expect to see from the 49ers after catching 16 passes for 226 yards in the two meetings last year.
"Hopefully I expect the same thing I got last year, a lot of Carlos Rogers on me and the usual things," Cruz said, "and hopefully I can do some of the same things I did last year."
The Giants had seven players not practicing Wednesday, including WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee), but Nicks was doing some running on the side and Tom Coughlin said he is optimistic Nicks will practice this week after missing the last three games . . . LB Chase Blackburn also did not practice but is expected to Thursday . . . LB Keith Rivers (hamstring) and CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring) practiced fully.