Ben McAdoo is still easing Victor Cruz back, but he said he was glad to see the veteran wide receiver take a few licks in Thursday’s practice.

Twice in that workout Cruz was knocked off his feet. Both times he got back up without any issues. It was the first time in a while he took a beating like that on a football field. Even last summer in camp, before his calf injury sidelined him for the season, he was typically avoiding contact as he tried to return from a torn patellar tendon.

“I think that’s great, that’s healthy,” McAdoo said Friday of the hits on Cruz. “That’s a part of it.”

Cruz agreed.

“You don’t necessarily want to go to the ground but for me, it felt good,” Cruz told Giants.com. “I wanted to get that hit, that full-speed fall to the ground and get back up and I made it through and felt good, so I’m excited about that.”

What Cruz would have liked to avoid was a thumping he took from 350-pound defensive tackle Damon Harrison that knocked him off his feet on one play.

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“When Snacks Harrison hits you, you get on the ground and do a 10-fingers and 10-toes check and then you get up,” Cruz said, “But it was good. I didn’t even realize that I got hit. I got up and I was running back and I was like, ‘Wow, I just got hit pretty good.’ It kind of hits you afterwards, but I was happy I got hit and was happy I was able to feel that game time feel a little bit and made it out OK.”

Cruz did not participate in Friday’s team reps in an abbreviated practice that never reached full speed. McAdoo said it had nothing to do with Cruz’s introduction to contact but that it was part of his overall schedule for returning to the field.

“Just a part of his program,” McAdoo said.