PHILADELPHIA — Victor Cruz went straight to the spot.
When he came out on the field for warmups about two hours before kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night, the Giants receiver basically ran a go route to the corner of the end zone where just over two years ago, he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee.
“It was such a defining moment that I wanted to go and pay my respects to that moment, relive it and then move on,” Cruz said after the game.
The emotional moment included a prayer, he said, in which he asked God to protect him during the upcoming contest. He described it as a “nostalgic” moment.
“Memories from that specific moment, that specific time,” he said of what he thought about. “When it happened, the feeling that I had. I wanted to kind of live in that moment for a second and go from there.”
He went on to catch eight passes for 84 yards, including a 29-yarder, in his most productive game of the season. He was targeted 13 times.
“It was huge,” he said. “To go out there and play this game alone [was an accomplishment]. To believe that I’d be back on this field playing this game again, that was a lot for me. I just went out there and made a contribution.”
Cruz actually visited the spot twice. The first time was by himself. The second time was with Odell Beckham Jr.
“He and I always say a prayer in the end zone, but he was emphatic about being in that specific spot and saying a prayer in that specific spot,” Cruz said. “We prayed together in that spot. It was a special moment for me, him being there when it happened and it coming full circle to him being there again when I’m able to help him out on that football field. It was a great feeling.”
Much better than the last time.