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Victor Cruz has enjoyed watching Giants grow

Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the Giants

Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the Giants looks on before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Trautwig

Victor Cruz said he's been impressed by how much the Giants' offense has developed since he was last on the field with his teammates.

"It's grown a lot," the wide receiver said Wednesday while speaking to the media in person for the first time since tearing his patellar tendon in an Oct. 12 game against the Eagles.

Cruz hasn't played in 21/2 months, but he's been watching. He's seen the quick evolution of Odell Beckham Jr., the maturation of running back Andre Williams and even the increased comfort level of Eli Manning.

Most of Cruz's firsthand experience with the first-year system was spent in the nascent days of the preseason and early in the regular season, when the offense was even more of a work in progress than it is now.

"You can see Eli being more assertive back there," Cruz said. "I can see those guys getting more and more comfortable and it's been fun to watch them grow throughout the season. Because the early part wasn't too fun to watch."

Cruz said he has "no doubt" he'll return to his old form in 2015 after recovering from surgery. He is beginning to work on strengthening the leg with exercises but still is several weeks from being ready to run. "I'm pretty much fully mobile, but just not running yet," he said.


Kennard's toe an issue

Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard, nursing an injured big toe, did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday and wore a protective boot on his left foot. He said he is day-to-day -- he'll see about practicing Friday when the team returns to work -- and would like to play Sunday.

Although his status for that game is in doubt, Kennard said he is confident that he is dealing with nothing more than soreness. He doesn't think it's a long-term issue like the one fellow linebacker Jon Beason struggled with since the spring, which ultimately required season-ending surgery. He called it a "nagging'' injury and compared it to the hamstring that kept him out of two games early in the season.

"If I take care of it and handle it properly, it shouldn't be a long-term deal at all," he said. "Especially with the season ending right around the corner. After this week, I'll have time to rest it and get it right. I don't think it's going to be some long issue."


Giant steps

Jon Beason was able to shed his protective boot on Wednesday and said that would signal the start of active rehab on his surgically repaired toe. The first few weeks of recovery, he said, were "like watching paint dry" but "it's going to pick up in the next couple of weeks." . . . Tom Coughlin said he spoke with the team about the chirping and trash-talking that preceded the Week 6 game against the Eagles and does not expect that to take place again before Sunday's Eagles game. "I think we learned our lesson," he said . . . RB Rashad Jennings won the 14th annual George Young Good Guy Award, as voted on by the Giants' chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America.


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