The New York Giants will be missing more than just Daniel Jones through the final games of the season. The injury curse that has been present all season long as continued, and this time it’s Sterling Shepard to go down. The wide receiver clearly picked up a worrying non-contact injury during the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and we know now that this injury was a torn Achilles that has seen Shepard sent to the injured reserve.
QB Daniel Jones and WR Sterling Shepard have been placed on Reserve/Injured.
We have signed LB Jaylon Smith and DB Jarren Williams from the practice squad.
DB Keion Crossen has been placed on Reserve/COVID-19.
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 20, 2021
Shepard is headed to the IR list at the same time as Jones, who was injured earlier but wasn’t immediately ruled out. This will cap off a season where Shepard struggled to stay on the field due to multiple injuries. Despite starting out looking like the potential top receiver on the roster, Shepard missed his first game in week 4 and has seen his role in the offense diminish since week 6 when he had 10 receptions.
While this isn’t Shepard’s first time dealing with injury problems, this season is significant because he’ll finish with the lowest games played and overall yards of his career. In 2019, Shepard played in 10 games but managed 576 yards. This season, he’s only made it into 7 games and has 366 yards. His sole touchdown this year also leaves him with the lowest total of his career in that department.
What does this mean for Sterling Shepard?
All of this, of course, leaves Shepard in an uncertain future position.
Shepard isn’t in a player that the organization or fanbase is in a rush to see gone. He’s a solid competitor, and headed into this season looked like the reliable option for Daniel Jones among a number of new additions at wide receiver.
But his injury history across multiple seasons and his cost against the cap while headed into a likely rebuild next year make it debatable whether he’ll play for the Giants again.
His cap hit for 2022 rises to nearly $12.5M, and at that price, it looks like Shepard will have to end up as one of the team’s cap space cuts. It’s an unfortunate situation all around, but in their current state, the Giants aren’t able to throw money at a wide receiver who is having the worst season of his career and only played in 7 games.