By Bryan Altman

When Victor Cruz splashed onto the scene in 2011 and transformed from a relatively unknown, undrafted wide receiver into a salsa-dancing sensation for the New York Giants, it appeared that the sky was the limit for him.

But it has been a long, hard road since then for Cruz, who hasn’t played in a regular season NFL game since October 2014 after suffering a torn patellar tendon and later a calf injury that kept him out in 2015.

While many have written off the former Pro Bowler’s chances of ever returning to form and playing at a high level in the NFL, Cruz believes that 2016 will be the year his comeback story begins.

Cruz spoke with the media on Super Bowl 50’s Radio Row and said that he believes he’ll be ready for the start of the season.

From The New York Post:

“I do expect to be able to play,” Cruz said during a Radio Row promotional appearance at Super Bowl 50. “The goal is definitely to play this year, and I believe I can be ready for the start of the season. I’ve been rehabbing for some months now, and it’s just a matter of continuing to get back to 100 percent.”

According to the paper, Cruz says he’s at about 85 percent currently in his rehab, but is hoping to begin running by March at the latest.

“I’m just getting the strength back in the legs and the calf,” Cruz told the newspaper. “The good thing is, there’s no more pain, nothing like that.”

While star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. thrived this past season, amassing 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 games, the Giants had major depth issues at wide receiver. Their No. 2, Rueben Randle, had a respectable year with 797 yards and eight TDs, but after that the Giants struggled to find a third option for quarterback Eli Manning.

If Cruz can return to form he could help fill that void.

Cruz is under contract with the Giants for the next three years and has a $9.9 million salary-cap hit next season.

The New York Post reported that the team hasn’t yet approached the receiver about restructuring his deal.

Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.

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