I got a fever! And the only prescription, is MORE SALSA.
The last time we saw Victor Cruz in an NFL game was Oct. 12, 2014, writhing in pain on the Lincoln Financial Field turf after sustaining a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
It wasn't pretty..
For the wide-receiver position—so heavily reliant on speed, the ability to change directions and stop on a proverbial dime— it's the type of injury often considered career threatening. It cost Cruz the remainder of the 2014 season.
On the already arduous road to recovery he hit another frustrating snare during last year's training camp, injuring his calf and losing the entire 2015 season.
Many believed his career was in serious jeopardy.
But he didn't.
And he was right.
It took him 700 days, but Cruz was finally back to catching passes for the Giants on Sunday, at Dallas, including the the game-winning touchdown reception that sent the Giants to their first 1-0 start since 2010, and their first win ever over the Cowboys in an opener (they entered 0-8).
After the touchdown, naturally, Cruz hit us with his trademark celebratory salsa-dance, and it was long overdue.
The football world went wild.
In Cruz's absence, not only did the Giants lose a team-leader, fan-favorite and the best dressed athlete in sports, widely beloved for his contagious smile.
Most importantly, on the field, they lost franchise-quarterback Eli Manning's favorite target.
If anything good came from Cruz going down two years ago, it was that the Giants were forced to seek new weapons to supplement Manning. They looked to the draft to fill the void and—with the 12th pick in the 2014 draft—came away with some kid by the name of Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU.
You're probably familiar with his work.
The Giants weren't done either.
Team brass were ecstatic when standout Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard fell to them in the second round of the 2016 draft, and snatched him up with the No. 40 pick.
Shepard's resume included ESPN first-team All-American honors last season, and 233 catches for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns in 50 career NCAA games.
In training camp, it didn't take long for Eli's newest weapon to make a name for himself.
It took Shepard all of two NFL quarters to begin paying dividends, recording his first career touchdown on a jaw-dropping acrobatic grab.
The rave reviews poured in fast and furiously.
In 55 NFL games, Cruz and Manning have hooked up 264 times, for a total of 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns. In 28 games, Beckham, the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year, has an astounding 191 receptions for 2,828 yards and 25 touchdowns. Eli's shiny new toy, Shepard, is an early favorite for Rookie of the Year himself.
Combined, the trio make up one of the most formidable wide-receiver trios in the league, and a certifiable nightmare for opposing defenses.