Cruz aiming to practice next week

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz had a fresh pair of retro Air Jordans on.

This normally isn't a big deal except for the fact that exactly a week ago the wide receiver was standing in the same interview area wearing a walking boot and on crutches.

Cruz shed the boot and crutches on Tuesday and he is aiming to practice next week. Everything is on target for him to play against Dallas on Sept. 8.

"That is definitely a target date for me," Cruz said of the opener. "I think I want to come out and get some good days of practice in as well once the doctors let me do so."

"It is getting better," he added. "Feels a lot better. A lot of the swelling has gone down. Obviously I am out of the boot now. So looking forward to better days to come."

Cruz said he still experiences some swelling in the morning when he wakes up but that goes down once he gets it warmed up. The receiver has been going through numerous exercises to strengthen the heel such as running on an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, doing bike work, spending time in a hot tub, cold tub and even "picking up marbles with my feet."

"In my mind [Monday] is a date that I am targeting [to practice]," Cruz said. "So I am going to work diligently this week while the team is away and focus on getting myself right and getting ready to practice potentially by next week."

If Cruz can practice starting next Wednesday, Eli Manning will have a full week of practices to prepare for the Cowboys with his Pro Bowl receiver.

"I knew initially that it was just something that was a small bump in the road," Cruz said of his injury. "And I needed some time off to get the boot off the foot and get things going the right way. Dallas was definitely a target date for me and I knew I had to be ready for that date and now that the boot is off and it is feeling good -- I still have some time to recuperate -- it feels even better."