Coughlin, Giants evaluate injuries on offense
Cruz, the Giants leading receiver the past two seasons, only bruised his left heel in the first quarter of New York's 20-12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, coach Tom Coughlin said Monday in a conference call.
Coughlin he doesn't know when his dynamic playmaker will return to practice. However, the injury does not seem serious.
''He probably will not practice (Tuesday),'' Coughlin said. ''But we'll take that as it comes.''
Baas is more of a concern. He sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on the opening series Sunday, and his status will be gauged on a weekly basis. An MCL sprain usually takes up to six weeks to heal, so his availability for the season opener at Dallas Sept. 8 is uncertain.
Also, defensive end Justin Tuck has a mild hamstring injury and his status is uncertain.
Jim Cordle replaced Baas, but Coughlin said he is exploring all options for his line.
''We'll discuss that,'' Coughlin said. ''There are plenty of opportunities to play going forward, whatever decision we make, you'll have Cordle and the other centers all involved.''
Entering his third season, Cordle has played in 25 games for the Giants, but he hasn't started one.
If the coaches decide to change things up, they can move left guard Kevin Boothe to center and then shuffle the rest of the line. They could move veteran David Diehl from right tackle to left guard and clear the way for first-round draft pick Justin Pugh to take over at right tackle.
Pugh missed the preseason opener against Pittsburgh with a concussion but he received his first NFL action Sunday night.
Diehl, who struggled last season at right tackle, had some problems vs. Indianapolis, whiffing on one block and putting Eli Manning under pressure. Moving him inside takes away the need for the 32-year-old to contend with the speed rush to the outside.
The Giants (1-1) have two preseason games to figure things out, starting Saturday against the New York Jets (1-1).
''It's an important game from our standpoint because we need improvement. We need to (find) something right away,'' Coughlin said. ''The Jets are a physical football team. It will be a very good test for us and we need to look at this with the idea of improvement and the continual analysis of personnel and trying to attack some of the areas that we haven't been good. We haven't scored any points, we haven't scored touchdowns. We're still lacking in the turnover area.''
Looking at the Colts' game, Coughlin found some bright spots despite seeing his offense limited to four field goals, and his team whistled for 10 penalties overall.
The Giants averaged 4.0 yards rushing and held the Colts to 2.7 yards per carry. Coughlin also felt New York had a chance to intercept five passes, but settled for just one by Jayron Hosley.
One of the missed picks was funny. Cornerback Aaron Ross totally mishandled an underthrown Andrew Luck pass at his own 5-yard line, popped the ball in the air and saw it float to a wide-open Reggie Wayne for a touchdown.
It was football follies 101.
''I am disappointed in the fact that we didn't make those plays,'' Coughlin said. ''Again, they made some. We made a few but certainly not enough.''
The Giants also didn't get enough pressure on any of the Colts' quarterbacks, recording one sack. On offense, they were 3 of 15 on third down.
''It's execution is what it is. That's the common denominator,'' Coughlin said. ''Execute. There have been some opportunities to hit some open receivers, which we haven't done.''
Coughlin said safety Antrel Rolle is close to returning to practice after spraining his right ankle last week. Rookie DE Damontre Moore (shoulder) is improving and is close to a return.