When the New York Giants lost their top receiver in the opening days of training camp to a fractured thumb, there were plenty of worries – specifically, that it would keep Shepard out for the early part of the season, where the games will be crucial to the success of the team long term this year and where the Giants will also have to play without Golden Tate thanks to a four game suspension for accidentally violating the league’s substance policy.
However, it looks like there isn’t too much to worry about – Shepard returned to practice quickly and looked good from mid to late training camp, and before the beginning of the preseason, Shepard was seen playing without the yellow jersey that denotes non-contact status.
Now, it seems Shepard is fully ready to make his return to the team in full during week one, when the Giants will take on the Dallas Cowboys without Golden Tate.
“To be honest, this feels a lot better than the past few times that Iâ€™ve broken it. This is probably one of the best breaks that Iâ€™ve experienced,” Shepard told reporters recently.
Shepard also claimed that missing the preseason isn’t going to make a difference in his play. While Shepard did miss the preseason, he was active in training camp and spent the last leg of camp with no non-contact jersey.
“I think, whether you have guys playing in the preseason, itâ€™s a little different in the regular season, so weâ€™ll get adjusted quickly. Itâ€™s been looking good at practice, so I feel like what you do at practice translates well to the field if youâ€™re doing things the right way,” Shepard added further.
Additionally, Shepard responded this way when asked whether or not he was ready to be the number one receiver.
“Yeah, and Iâ€™ve said it before, I have guys that I can go to. Weâ€™ve got a lot of guys in the room who can make plays, so that makes you a little bit more comfortable, but Iâ€™m ready for the opportunity. Iâ€™m ready to help the team out,” Shepard stated.
Shepard’s help will definitely be welcome against Dallas, a team that the Giants are underdogs against. With their top receiver playing, though, there’s potentially a good chance that the Giants can pull out out an upset and surprise the national audience.