Sterling Shepard

Giants Activate Sterling Shepard From IR

The Giants are on track to have their top three wide receivers available Thursday night. They activated Sterling Shepard from IR ahead of their Week 7 game.

Shepard has been out since Week 2 because of turf toe. Should Darius Slayton be given the green light after getting in two limited practices this week, Daniel Jones‘ starting wideouts — Shepard, Slayton and Golden Tate — will be in uniform together for just the second game this season.

Tate missed Week 1, and Shepard left Big Blue’s Week 2 game. Slayton left the team’s Week 6 win but remains a decent bet to play tonight. Shepard has been the least available of the Giants receivers in the team’s post-Odell Beckham Jr.  era. He missed six games last season because of two separate concussions. His return tonight will be a welcome sight for Daniel Jones, who has not played especially well this season.

The second-year quarterback ranks 24th in QBR and has thrown one touchdown pass in the Giants’ past five games. Shepard’s return should help the cause, but the fifth-year wideout (and the Giants’ longest-tenured player) has struggled to stay on the field since signing a four-year, $41MM extension in 2019. In 2018, Shepard established new career-high marks with 66 receptions and 872 yards. The final half of the season will be key for Shepard and Jones’ rapport.

The Giants also promoted wide receiver Alex Bachman and linebacker Trent Harris ahead of their Eagles matchup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place Sterling Shepard On IR

The Giants are placing Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with turf toe, per a club announcement. The move will open up a spot for the arrival of running back Devonta Freeman

Shepard has been a focal point of the Giants’ offense so far this year, reeling in eight grabs for 76 yards off of ten targets. Fellow wideout Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram are the only Giants to have received more looks from Daniel Jones in 2020.

The Giants are now facing a season without star running back Saquon Barkley and a three-game stretch (at minimum) without Shepard. The addition of Freeman will help maintain some of their offensive firepower, but this is a Giants team that is clearly in trouble. After falling to the Steelers and Bears to open the year, the Giants will take on the 49ers at home, the Rams on the road, and the rival Cowboys in Dallas.

Without Shepard, the Giants are left with Slayton, Golden Tate, Damion Ratley, and C.J. Board as their wide receivers. They may look to draw from their expanded practice squad for help, where WRs Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, and Derrick Dillon are at the ready.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

Latest On Giants’ Sterling Shepard

After suffering two concussions this season, the Giants sent Sterling Shepard to see a specialist in Pittsburgh for further examination. There’s concern that the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the season or, perhaps, won’t be able to continue playing at all, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano hears from Shepard’s teammates. 

If you tell me I’ve got to get a hip replacement in 10 years, all right, fine, I’ll deal with that in 10 years,” Golden Tate said on Wednesday. “But if you tell me, ‘Hey, there’s a chance you might not be able to remember a lot of your career, or your childhood, or your children’s childhood? That’s scary, man. It gives me chills.”

Shepard was set to play after a three-week absence, but another round of symptoms led him to pump the breaks on his return. He’s only 26, but some teammates fear that this is the end of the line for Shepard’s NFL career.

This is a serious injury, and in my mind, it requires a serious response,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said on Tuesday. “I think we have to use good judgement and we need to be very deliberate about guys coming back from injuries such as this. At some point, we just have to use our gut.”

The 2-6 Giants will have a bye after their Sunday showdown with the Jets, which could give Shepard time to heal up. Then again, with little to play for this year, it might not make sense for the Giants to activate Shepard under any circumstances.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Evan Engram Getting Second Opinion On Foot

The Giants will send an MRI of tight end Evan Engram‘s foot to Dr. Robert Anderson for a second opinion, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Engram will not play on Sunday against the Jets, reports Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link), but he hopes to return soon after that.

Speaking to reporters today, head coach Pat Shurmur didn’t sound overly optimistic on Engram’s status. Shurmur said Engram is currently in a walking boot and called the third-year tight end “day-to-day, week-to-week,” as Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. However, Engram says he does not have a Lisfranc injury, tweets Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. For now, New York is calling Engram’s injury a mid-foot sprain, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (Twitter link).

A first-round pick in the 2017 draft, Engram broke out with 64 receptions and 722 yards in his rookie campaign, but fell back to earth in a injury-riddled 2018 season. This year, Engram was once again posting another outstanding year and had been on pace to surpass his previous career highs in catches and yards, but his most recent health issues may prevent that from happening.

The Giants have yet to field their full set of skill position players for a game, and it doesn’t appear that will occur any time soon. Not only is Engram hurt, but wide receiver Sterling Shepard is being sent to Pittsburgh to meet with concussion experts, tweets Vacchiano. Shepard has already been concussed twice this season and hasn’t played since Week 5.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Solder, Jenkins, Redskins

Stonewalled by the Redskins in Trent Williams talks, the Browns reportedly have interest in acquiring left tackle Nate Solder from the Giants. Solder, however, doesn’t seem to have any interest in leaving New York — not that he’d necessarily have any say in the matter. “I love being here, I love this group of guys and I love this team,” Solder said when asked about the trade rumors, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Solder signed a four-year, $62MM deal with the Giants just last year, but given Big Blue’s 2-5 record, they could conceivably be open to moving the veteran. Cleveland, for its part, seems intent in trading for an offensive tackle before next week’s deadline and has reportedly contacted other NFC East clubs.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Speaking of Giants who could be on the move in the next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY spoke with NFL scouts and executives about what certain New York players could be worth via trade. By all accounts, cornerback Janoris Jenkins is the most likely Giant to be dealt, and Vacchiano speculates the veteran defensive back could reap a third- or fourth-round pick. Linebacker Alec Ogletree, wide receiver Golden Tate, and even tight end Evan Engram could all be candidates to be traded if New York decides to embark on a full rebuild.
  • Adrian Peterson is hoping to face his former team when the Redskins go up against the Vikings on Thursday night football, but he’s currently wearing the “questionable” label for Week 8, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. The veteran running back suffered multiple ankle sprains against the 49ers on Sunday, but he told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he feels “good” and wants to play. Peterson, who’s posted 307 yards on 83 carries this year, was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice session.
  • Giants wideout Sterling Shepard put in a limited practice today, per Vacchiano (Twitter link). Still, it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go when New York faces Detroit on Sunday. Shepard hasn’t played since Week 5 after suffering a concussion, and he’s actually suffered two brain injuries already this year. Given that the Giants aren’t contenders, they may continue to hold Shepard out with his long-term health in mind.

Injury Updates: Rams, Matthews, Giants, Engram

There’s still no official word on when Rams outside linebacker Clay Matthews will return to action, but a realistic return date for him would be after the team’s bye week, head coach Sean McVay told reporters. That would line the veteran up for a Week 10 return on Nov. 10 against the Steelers, restoring one of the Rams’ defensive stars for a second-half push.

While Matthews’ busted jaw heals up, the Rams will face the 49ers in an intrastate matchup on Sunday.

Here’s more on some notable injuries from around the NFL:

  • Giants tight end Evan Engram is dealing with a sprained MCL, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). It’ll be a challenge for Engram to play against the Patriots on Thursday, Schefter hears, which would leave the club with Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson, and Kaden Smith at TE. Meanwhile, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out and running back Saquon Barkley is considered unlikely to play.
  • 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk suffered an MCL injury on Monday night against the Browns, a source tells NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The team should know more after an MRI on Tuesday. Juszczyk may not be a household name, but he’s a key part of SF’s offense.

Injury Updates: Chiefs, Giants, Shepard

Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones suffered a groin strain in Sunday night’s game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. After the results of his MRI come in, the Chiefs will know whether Jones will miss games.

Jones, 25, has two sacks through five games this year. Last season, he was phenomenal and finished with a career-high 40 tackles and 15.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him fifth among 112 interior defenders, with his pass-rushing score ranking second at the position.

While we wait to hear whether Jones will miss the Chiefs’ Week 6 game against the Texans, or anything beyond that, here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Chiefs defensive tackle Xavier Williams has a badly sprained ankle, Rapoport tweets. It’s a certainty that he’ll miss time, but the timetable has yet to be fleshed out.
  • Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is back in the concussion protocol, yet again (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan). This is Shepard’s second concussion this season, so it could be a while before he gets back on the field. Shepard had five catches for 49 yards against the Vikings in Week 5, bringing his season stat line to 25/267/1.
  • In more positive Chiefs news: guard Andrew Wylie (ankle) got good news on his Monday X-rays.

Injury Notes: 9/20/19

Here are the latest significant injury-related notes from around the league:

  • Marshall Newhouse, whom the Patriots signed last week, will serve as the club’s starting left tackle until Isaiah Wynn returns, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com (via Twitter).
  • As expected, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will not play in Week 3, but the club is still optimistic about the availability of Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets.
  • Buccaneers LB Devin White will not play this weekend, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out of the concussion protocol and will play in Week 3 per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via PFT). Rookie QB Daniel Jones will be making his first start, so Shepard’s presence will be especially helpful.
  • The Seahawks are getting closer to full strength, as both WR David Moore and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah are expected to play in Week 3, per Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. We had already heard that Ansah was likely to make his Seattle debut this weekend, but Moore’s return is earlier than expected, even after we learned at the end of August that he would avoid IR.
  • Top Jets defenders C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams are not expected to play this week, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. The Week 3 outlook is also bleak for WR Demaryius Thomas and LB Jordan Jenkins.
  • Tyler Kroft‘s Bills debut may be put on hold for awhile longer. Kroft was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, but as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Buffalo HC Sean McDermott told reporters that Kroft injured his ankle in Thursday’s practice and will undergo further evaluation.

NFL Reviewing Concussion Protocol

The NFL and its player’s association have initiated a review of the concussion protocol after Giants WR Sterling Shepard suffered a concussion, yet was allowed to stay in the game last week, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Both the league and union are attempting to figure out what exactly happened on Sunday vs. the Cowboys. Shepard collided with CB Anthony Brown, feel backward and struggled to get up. Shepard waived off the Giants personnel that attempted to get him off the field and Shepard remained in the game.

The NFL has two spotters on the sidelines who are on the lookout for signs that a player has a concussion during a game. Shepard somehow evaded these officials, Schefter writes, and did not miss a play on Sunday. Shepard clearly suffered a concussion, as he has been ruled out in Week 2 because of the ailment.