Victor Cruz wasn't the only player back on the field for the Giants on Monday, Others who have been sidelined with injuries, including starters Robert Ayers Jr., Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Ereck Flowers, also participated in the abbreviated workout.
After a few days away thanks to Thursday's game, it's almost as if the Giants have returned to an entirely new season. They certainly have a new attitude. "It's exciting to have a complete team," Prince Amukamara said.
The Giants also find themselves revitalized in an NFC East in which all four teams are within one game of each other after the Cowboys' loss to Atlanta on Sunday. But the big mood-booster is the players coming back from injuries.
"All things are positive as far as getting all of the guys back," Ayers said. "I think the better teams in the league are the teams that can stay healthy. If we can stay healthy and keep guys on the field, I definitely feel our chances will increase."
Tom Coughlin wasn't ready to declare everyone back just yet. "They all have a full week of practice to prove that they are ready to go," he said.
If the Giants can get most of them through that gantlet, it should make them a healthier team physically and mentally.
The Giants may be feeling pretty good about themselves, but Coughlin continues to believe they are a team "under construction." It's a phrase he used last week and spoke about Monday.
"We're not there, but we're trying like heck," he said. "I think our attitude and our effort is good. We still have our situational issues, but we're grinding away, grinding away, and hopefully we're going to improve every time we play."
While the Giants are getting healthier, their next opponent, the Bills, could be without key players Sunday. Rex Ryan said WR Sammy Watkins and RB LeSean McCoy could miss the game with injuries . . . Former Washington TE Chris Cooley will be among the free agents the Giants will work out Tuesday . . . With the Giants not playing on Sunday, Coughlin had a chance to watch the Bills-Dolphins game on TV. "Defensively, they're very, very good," he said of the Bills. "Offensively, they're explosive, powerful, they can throw the ball and have multiple talented guys. They had a heck of a game."