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Giants Q&A: Victor Cruz injures right ankle, but how bad is it?

Victor Cruz of the Giants celebrates after making

Victor Cruz of the Giants celebrates after making a catch against the Eagles at MetLife Stadium on November 6, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Mike Stobe

What happened to Victor Cruz?

The veteran wide receiver left Sunday’s game in the second quarter after injuring his right ankle on a 46-yard reception that set up the Giants’ third touchdown of the game. Cruz was able to walk off the field and did some running on the sideline, but he was sent back for in-game X-rays and did not return.

The injury was described as a sprain before the X-rays. Ben McAdoo did not provide an update on his status, but if the injury is more serious than a sprain, this could have been Cruz’s final game for the Giants.

That’s not something his Giants teammates were considering, though, especially given that Cruz left the locker room without so much as a protective boot on his foot.

“The man has come back from surgery on his calf and tendons. I’m sure he will be playing on Monday,” Odell Beckham Jr. said. “This isn’t going to be something that will hold him back. It’s just temporary.”

Beckham did leave open the possibility that Cruz will miss a few games if he has something like a high ankle sprain. “That,” he said, “could take a little time.”

How about Justin Pugh?

That one could be a bit more serious. The starting guard left with a sprained right knee, also in the second quarter. Unlike Cruz, who was able to move around on the sideline before leaving the game for good, Pugh was helped off the field and led directly to the locker room. McAdoo had no update but said both players will be evaluated during the upcoming week.

Tough day for Eli Apple?

His worst as a pro. The first-round pick was benched after missing a tackle and at least two assignments, including outside containment on Ryan Mathews’ 8-yard touchdown run. He also was flagged once for lining up in the neutral zone.

“It’s definitely tough,” Apple said. “You don’t want to let nobody down, don’t want to let your team down, yourself down. It was tough.”

Apple said the coaches told him he would be benched but also told him they still have faith in him. “They wanted to make sure I was cool, making sure my head was OK, telling me to keep my head up,” he said.

His teammates also have his back.

“He’s going to be just fine,” said Trevin Wade, who came off the bench to replace Apple. “One thing, we were all behind him and we just picked him up, telling him just come back to practice. We won the game and you’re learning and c’mon, come back next week, because we’re going to need him.”

How many touches did Paul Perkins get in the game?

Fourteen, which is two fewer than the 16 he had in the first seven games combined. Upping those opportunities was one of the changes the Giants wanted to make coming off their self-evaluation during the bye. Perkins started out slowly but had a strong fourth quarter with 32 rushing yards on six carries and a catch for 15 yards. In the first three quarters, he had five carries and two catches for a combined net of zero yards.

What other changes did the Giants make on offense?

They used Marshall Newhouse as an extra lineman to help the blocking and protection. They also rotated their receivers, using Roger Lewis Jr. and Dwayne Harris a lot more than they have in the past.

Why did the Eagles pass up two field goals in the first half?

“I felt really good about how we were moving the football,” coach Doug Pederson said of trying to convert fourth downs from the Giants’ 23 and 6. “It was my decision to stay aggressive on the field and stay aggressive with our team.”


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