Sterling Shepard’s concussion problem this season has been a thorn in the side of the New York Giants offense – Shepard came into the year as the top receiver on the team following their trade of Odell Beckham Jr., and was also fresh off getting a new contract with star caliber pay, but has only been able to make a minimal impact thanks to being sidelined with concussions for more games than not.
That’s concussions, not concussion. Shepard is on his second one this season and unlike the one that he sustained against the Bills in week two, there will be no risky early return from it. Shepard hasn’t yet gotten out of concussion protocol, and a return in week eight is looking increasingly unlikely according to reports.
"Strong possibility" that WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) remains sidelined this week vs. Lions, per coach Pat Shurmur. That is based off what he knows today. Wouldn't expect that to change though.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) October 24, 2019
The Giants have battled with bad luck all season long, whether that’s losing Golden Tate for the first four games with a surprising suspension during the offseason or losing Ryan Connelly for the entire season with an ACL tear not long ago. That’s not mentioning Saquon Barkley’s high ankle sprain in week three, which the running back has now returned from.
Just because Barkley is back, though, doesn’t mean the team can expect their star offensive player to do all the work. Barkley underperformed statistically in his first game back, although the poor blocking in the game may indicate that it’s more the fault of others than of Barkley.
With the Giants seemingly slipping to a worse and worse record every week, it seems like the team could use all the help they can get – winning while healthy is hard, but winning without all of their top names is even harder. The Giants likely won’t, however, get help in the form of a return from Shepard.
After Shepard received another concussion not long after his first one, it’s understandable why the receiver is on a longer path to returning this time, but until that return does happen, the Giants offense will just have to try to scrap along with what they have. Even if that hasn’t been enough to win recently.