Giants practice report: Cruz back, in red

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants continue to be very careful with wide receiver Victor Cruz, who missed Wednesday's practice with a neck injury but expects to be able to play Sunday against the Raiders.

Cruz returned to practice Thursday, but as he himself indicated the day before he did not participate to the extent that he usually does. During the portion of the practice that was open to the media, Cruz was on the field in a red jersey -- the kind quarterbacks wear to indicate a player with whom others aren't allowed to make contact. It was a No. 8 jersey, presumably David Carr's old one. Cruz did not participate in punt-return drills as he normally does. Wednesday, he said he expected to do "some third-down stuff" upon his return to practice Thursday.

I did not see defensive tackle Shaun Rogers at practice, which is interesting since he sat out Wednesday with a knee injury and Thursday is the deadline for the Giants to activate defensive tackle Markus Kuhn from the PUP list. If they did that, they'd need a roster spot, and Rogers would be a candidate for release or for injured reserve depending on the severity of his injury.

Thursday is also the deadline for the Giants to activate running back Andre Brown from the injured reserve/designated for return list, so they'll actually need to open two roster spots. The most likely move there seems to be putting injured starter David Wilson on season-ending IR, but more on that later as we get news.

In other practice-participation news, cornerbacks Corey Webster and Trumaine McBride spent the open portion on the exercise bikes with running back Brandon Jacobs. Webster and Jacobs' groin and hamstring injuries aren't new, but if McBride is hurt that would be news and not welcome news. He's played well in Webster's stead, and if he has to miss Sunday's game it would force the Giants to shuffle things in the secondary, possibly using Terrell Thomas outside and three safeties instead of a slot cornerback.

Thomas, tight end Adrien Robinson and cornerback Jayron Hosley were all practicing. Robinson could make his season debut Sunday and offer a big boost as a run-blocker and on special teams.