New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, left, makes a catch as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane defends on the play during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. Cruz was banged up on the play and left the game with an injury. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)AP2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left knee.
Cruz had an arthroscopic debridement of the knee Thursday afternoon in Pensacola, Fla. after getting a second opinion on the injury he sustained last weekend against Seattle.
The surgery is similar to the one former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora had before the 2011 season. The recovery period is at least three weeks.
The Giants (5-9) have two games left in the regular season. The team listed him as out for the Lions' game in Detroit on Sunday and spokesman Pat Hanlon said he would not play in the season finale against Washington on Dec. 29.
"Sometimes we call it funnel coverage, where everybody is man-to-man and then there is a zone player in there. Usually that zone player is looking to see where Victor is."
- Giants offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride
Cruz was injured Sunday in the third quarter of the Giants' 23-0 loss to the Seahawks. He jumped to catch a pass and landed hard on his head. After he walked off the field, the Giants said he sustained a concussion and injured his knee.
Cruz was cleared of the concussion Wednesday. The knee injury was more serious.
Cruz, who signed a $43 million contract this summer, had a team-high 73 catches for 998 yards and four touchdowns this season. He was 2 yards short of his third straight 1,000-yard season.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said last week that this might have been Cruz's best season because the former free agent drew double-team coverage all season. He also noted that the Paterson native has also had his best year blocking.
"There's no question that we haven't been as effective in some of the other spots and, therefore, people gear up defensively," Gilbride said. "They're certainly very cognizant of where he is at all times. Sometimes we call it funnel coverage, where everybody is man-to-man and then there is a zone player in there. Usually that zone player is looking to see where Victor is and then we've gotten a lot more doubles."
Gilbride said it reminds him of the attention that Steve Smith and Plaxico Burress got in their primes.
Signed as a free agent out of Massachusetts, Cruz catapulted into stardom in 2011, catching 82 passes for a team-record 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns. He became a fan favorite with his salsa dance after each touchdown.
Cruz caught 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
If there has been any disappointment for Cruz the past two seasons, it's been missing the playoffs.
"I am about the team," Cruz said last week. "The numbers are great but I am about going to the playoffs and being in contention and doing things that get the team excited, the organization excited, the fans excited."