Before the Giants can move on from Victor Cruz's injury, they may need a little closure. It may seem odd to talk about such an emotional element with a team full of tough football players, but for many of them their last contact with the popular Cruz was as he was being carted along the sideline at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night.
Since then, Cruz has been largely out of communication with his teammates. Even Eli Manning's texts and phone calls have gone unanswered.
"I know sometimes when these things happen you're not looking to reach out and talk a lot,'' Manning said yesterday. "I left him a long message and told him I'd reach out and try to catch hold of him. I have not spoken to him in person yet.''
Rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will replace Cruz in the starting lineup Sunday at Dallas. "I look forward to being able to get a chance to talk to him and see how he's holding up,'' Beckham said.
Cruz spent about 30 minutes at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center Wednesday, his first visit to the Giants' facility since tearing his right patellar tendon and requiring season-ending surgery. He was released earlier in the day from the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
His return came during the early stages of the team's practice, though, so he was unable to speak in person to the coaches and teammates who have been so concerned about his well-being since the injury occurred.
Perhaps that was by design. The Giants may be yearning to see him, but Cruz may not be ready for that. He left the field Sunday night in tears, fully aware that his season was over.
Cruz spent most of his time at the facility in the training room, the team said. He was on crutches with a cast running the length of his right leg to keep the injury immobilized.
He was unavailable to the media. The team said he might feel up to it later this week.
Tom Coughlin said earlier in the day that he expected Cruz to stop by and appeared to think he might address the team.
"I spoke to him [Tuesday] and he was in good spirits,'' Coughlin said. "We had a conversation. I told him what great concern there is here for him, how badly we all felt, how much we'll miss him both in the locker room and on the field and what a great Giant he's been . . .
"No doubt we miss him, and we will, but his message will be: 'Move on.' ''
Cruz didn't have a chance to deliver that message personally. For many Giants, not being able to connect with their offensive captain has been very trying. It was for Coughlin.
"Being out there on the field right next to Victor but being unable to speak with him, that was a bothersome thing to me,'' Coughlin said of Sunday night's experience. "There were plenty of people around there supporting him, but he was not in a position to even notice.''
The Giants added free-agent wide receiver Kevin Ogletree on Tuesday. Coughlin said Preston Parker would get increased opportunities, likely as the first option in the slot. The Giants' starting wide receivers on Sunday figure to be Rueben Randle and Beckham.
As for Cruz's recovery, Coughlin also spoke to him about that on Tuesday.
"I expect the rehab will go very well and he'll be back 100 percent in a few months' time,'' Coughlin said. "If it has to do with overcoming, he'll overcome it.''