The Chicago Bears might be getting an extremely motivated Victor Cruz this season.
Cruz still feels like he’s got something to prove after knee and leg injuries wiped out most of two seasons of his career. While Cruz managed to return and play in 15 games last year for the New York Giants, he feels there is more to accomplish.
“Every day (I have something to prove),” Cruz said, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “Even after a Super Bowl or after an injury-riddled two years, I always feel like I have something to prove. I’ll always strap up my laces and helmet and have something to prove, because you do.
“You’re only as good as your last catch, your last game, your last year of production. That is what you’re marketed as. That is what they categorize you as, whatever your last showing is on the field.”
Cruz sustained a torn patella tendon in his knee in 2014 and missed the rest of the season. Continued issues during recovery and compensatory injuries led to Cruz missing all of the 2015 season as well. Finally able to return to the field last year, Cruz caught 39 passes for 586 yards and a touchdowns with the Giants. He signed with the Bears as a free agent in May.
With Cruz now another year removed from injury, the Bears may be able to benefit significantly from his addition. Cruz posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Giants in 2011-12 with 19 receiving touchdowns over that span. He fell just two yards shy of a third-straight 1,000-yard season in 2013 before his knee injury in 2014 brought his career to a crossroads.
If he can return to form and find a better fit in the Bears passing attack, Cruz could still be extremely effective.