Victor Cruz figured he already would have played a few games this season by the time the full-length documentary "I Am Giant: Victor Cruz" debuted on Showtime on Friday. Oct. 30 seemed so far away, and there was so much time to get his calf injury healed and be back on the field.
Alas, there's no such thing as a real-life Hollywood ending. At least not for this movie.
Cruz has yet to play in a game or even participate in a full practice since suffering the calf injury in mid-August. "It's frustrating to say the least," he said on the red carpet at Monday night's premiere in Manhattan.
The movie, though, isn't about Cruz coming back from his calf injury. Or even his knee injury, a torn patellar tendon that ended his 2014 season. It's about his life -- his journey from "gritty" Paterson, New Jersey, to the NFL.
"I'm nervous," he said before the film was shown to a small group of family, friends and associates. "It's my life. It's an in-depth look at what I go through on a daily basis and things I've gone through dealing with the recovery, the rehab process, as well as other facets of my life."
In one of the more poignant parts of the film, Cruz watches video of his 2014 knee injury in Philadelphia for the first time.
"I had never seen it until they recorded it that one day," he said. "[They] handed it to me on YouTube and I watched it and it was, um, it was different to see myself in that regard . . . To see myself go down, see how emotional I was. Obviously, I knew all of that because I was there, but to see it, you can see how vulnerable I was and how in one play, in an instant, something like that can happen."
Cruz said he wanted to do the film to show people everything he has gone through. "Everything has always been documented in pieces and short little increments," he said. "I wanted to go through everything I've gone through in my own words, to the people, to the fans, and see how they perceive it."
"And," he added, "I also had a lot of time on my hands. I wanted to fill that time."
He still does. Cruz said there is no timetable for his return this season. The next examination of his calf is scheduled for Thursday, and he's hoping for good news. The last few MRIs have shown that the injured area is getting smaller, but it's still there.
"I'm feeling good," he said. "I can feel that the calf is progressing and the doctors feel that as well. All we can do is continue to go in that path and the right direction with the healing process and how that goes."
Cruz downplayed criticism that he is not working hard enough to get back on the field while spending time making and promoting this film.
"I'm a human being," he said. "I have things I like to do . . . There are passions you have for yourself. And for anyone who thinks that I filmed the Foot Locker commercial [with Odell Beckham Jr.] during the rehab process during the season, you're out of your mind. If you think I'm doing these things right now currently as I'm rehabbing, that's not the case at all."
His main focus, he insists, is on getting back to the field and feeling better.
"Hopefully that trend continues," he said, "and I'll be out there more sooner [rather] than later."