Giants' Cruz does not practice because of calf injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Two days after Victor Cruz said he expected to play this weekend, his return seemingly is on hold.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said that Cruz was unable to practice Wednesday after feeling some discomfort in his calf.

The wide receiver participated in some individual drills, but he had to shut it down before the team phase of practice.

''Hopefully it's just minor,'' quarterback Eli Manning said. ''I know he has been working hard since the knee injury. It's always frustrating for everybody when you are injured.

''You want to be out there. It's something that is nagging with a muscle strain. It's not fun for anybody. He's got a great attitude toward it and hopefully he can continue to heal up and get out there when he can.''

Manning didn't see Cruz get hurt in the individual drills, but he noticed he did not take part in all of them.

Cruz was not in the locker room after practice and was unavailable for comment.

The 28-year-old Cruz has not played in a game since sustaining a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He had surgery and rehabilitation and came to training camp hoping to play in the season opener. He pulled a calf muscle in mid-August and has not practiced.

Cruz had said on Monday that his calf felt fine and he was excited at the prospect of playing again and being one of the league's outstanding receivers.

''Victor came out and tried to do individuals,'' Coughlin said in a statement. ''He felt the calf again and that's all he did.''

Fellow receiver Rueben Randle said the wide outs will just have to step up their game.

''We feel for him,'' said Randle, who had a season-high seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown against Washington last week. ''We know he worked hard to get back this week. He kind of got held back because he feels a little stress in the calf. We just wish him the best.''

Many players had hoped Cruz's return would be a lift for the team.

''Nothing ever goes perfect for you,'' defensive tackle Cullen Jennings, who was sidelined with calf problems last season. ''You would like it to, but you are going to have your fair share of ups and downs in the season. You have to know what your goals are and push toward them no matter what you are facing.''

Cornerback Prince Amukamara said Cruz has been diligent working to get back on the field, noting he was working with the trainers last weekend when the team was off.

''I got to see his journey in him getting back, so I understand how frustrating it can be,'' Amukamara said.

Before Cruz had his problem at practice, Bills coach Rex Ryan expressed concern about Manning having Cruz back for Sunday's game in Buffalo, saying that he was the quarterback's go-to guy for years.

''There's no question about it,'' Ryan added. ''I wish Cruz would wait one more week.''

It seems Ryan is going to get his wish.

NOTES: The Giants signed WR Tavarres King and QB C.J. Kinne to their practice squad and released WR Julian Talley and G Vinston Painter. ... TEs Jerome Cunningham (knee) and Daniel Fells (ankle) did not practice. ... DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), RB Orleans Darkwa (knee), OT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DT Markus Kuhn (knee) and DE Owa Odighizuwa (foot) were limited. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned to practice fully after missing the previous game with a concussion.

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AP Sport Writer John Wawrow in Orchard Park, N.Y. contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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