EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just last week, injured New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle eschewed a walking boot for his ankle injury with a dismissive, "Boots are for wimps." So it was only natural to ask Rolle on Wednesday what he thought when he saw wide receiver Victor Cruz in a walking boot following Cruz's heel injury.
"Nah, man, I want him to be in that boot," Rolle said. "We need to make sure we take care of Victor. I think we all know what he means to this team, so if he has to walk around in a boot for a month, so be it. Maybe I'll put a boot on, too, just to show him that I'm with him."
Rolle is making progress from his sprained ankle and believes he'll be back in time for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener in Dallas. And he wasn't making any predictions about Cruz's recovery when he threw out "if he has to walk around in a boot for a month." Cruz and the Giants surely hope that Cruz, who bruised his heel in Sunday night's preseason game against the Colts, doesn't need the walking boot for a month. Cruz is wearing the boot, and using the crutches that go with it, in an effort to keep weight and pressure off the heel as it recovers.
As we've discussed here, there's no reason to feel encouraged about Cruz until he's back on the field and playing at his normal, high-end speed. A foot injury to a wide receiver is nothing to laugh off, and a bruised heel could certainly linger into the season or even develop into something worse. Where the Giants are right now is simply hopeful that doesn't happen, and the boot is one of many precautions they're taking against it.
Cruz obviously won't play in either of the Giants' two remaining preseason games, and there's no word yet on when he can return to practice. Again, the fear of making the injury worse is winning out over any concerns about lost practice time this close to the start of the season.