Giants’ Sterling Shepard reflects on career and hints at a potential return in 2024

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) enters the field during introductions the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, fans of the New York Giants find themselves bidding farewell to one of their most beloved wide receivers, Sterling Shepard. After spending his entire eight-year career with the Giants, Shepard finds himself at a crossroads, contemplating whether he will continue playing football or step away from the game for good.

Sterling Shepard’s farewell to fans

During Week 18’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants organization took the opportunity to honor Shepard by giving fans a chance to say goodbye. This gesture served as a testament to the impact he had on the team, both on and off the field.

Shepard took to Instagram to express his heartfelt appreciation for the support he received over the years, leaving many wondering if this marked the end of his NFL journey.

Shepard says he is not yet ready to “close the door” on his career

Shepard has not officially announced his retirement. During a recent appearance on the “2nd Wind Podcast,” Shepard said it is too early to “close the door” on his football career.

The 30-year-old acknowledged his physical ability to continue playing but emphasized the importance of mental readiness. Shepard understands that being mentally prepared is just as crucial as physical health when it comes to excelling in the sport. It is this consideration that seems to be weighing on his mind as he contemplates his future in the NFL.

Reflecting on his career with the Giants

When reflecting on his time with Big Blue, Shepard expressed both contentment and a desire for more. He acknowledged the ups and downs of his career, admitting that things may not have unfolded exactly as he imagined. Nevertheless, he is grateful for the opportunity to live out his lifelong dream, and if his last snaps were indeed taken in the NFL, he is satisfied with the legacy he leaves behind.

“I’m happy. And the reason why I say I’m happy is because I got to live my dream. There’s so many people that ain’t been able to say that they live their dream, you know what I’m saying? So, I did that. I played this game at the highest level, and it didn’t go the way that I wanted it to. But like, how often do things go the way you plan it to go? They don’t never really go the way you plan it to go. It’s His plan. So like I said, I’ve taken care of what I needed to take care of, and that’s all I can control, so you know I’m happy with whichever way it goes. Do I feel like I can give the game some more? Yeah I do, but I’m content.”

Sterling Shepard reflecting on his career via the 2nd Wind Podcast

Regardless of what lies ahead for Shepard, he has left a lasting mark on Giants history. Over eight seasons, he accumulated 372 receptions, surpassing Giants legend Jeremy Shockey’s record and earning him a spot on the franchise’s all-time reception list. He also finishes his career with 4,095 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.

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