Giants’ veteran receiver fending off frustration over lack of playing time

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants‘ offense hasn’t had the best start to their season. With a meager six first-half points in three weeks and despite a thrilling comeback win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, the current game plan seems precarious.

Protection issues have been evident, making it hard for quarterback Daniel Jones to invigorate the passing play. This has rendered the offense somewhat predictable. This problem, where playmakers seldom get hold of the football, isn’t new; it’s been haunting the Giants for the past decade. Among those feeling the pinch is a veteran receiver who inked a modest deal during the off-season.

Shepard’s Frustration

Seasoned receiver Sterling Shepard is no stranger to the ups and downs with the Giants. He’s witnessed both low and high phases. But now, as Shepard observes, the “writing is really on the wall.” The Giants seem to be gradually excluding him from their future strategies. Despite battling numerous injuries in his career, at 30, Shepard’s hunger to make a difference remains. But with a mere two targets this season, opportunities seem scarce.

Speaking to The Post, Shepard shared, “If I worry too much about all that other stuff I can send myself down a rabbit hole and have a whole bunch of ‘poor me’ situations. My mindset is not letting that happen and just staying ready and being patient. There’s nothing else for me to do. Me moaning about it ain’t really gonna do anything.’’

This year, Shepard’s managed only one catch for four yards. His 2022 season was cut short after an ACL tear, following just 13 receptions. Although injuries have made him a less frequent target for Jones, Shepard’s intent on contributing remains unwavering. Despite his growing dissatisfaction, he’s ensuring it doesn’t affect the team dynamics.

Emphasizing his readiness, he said, “The writing is really on the wall, man,’’ he said. “It don’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I just know I got to be ready. Being in this game, this is my eighth season, been around a lot so you kind of know every different situation that can come about. I’ve seen it the other way around where guys get into a pissed-off attitude and their number’s called and they’re not ready.’’

Shepard undoubtedly still has potential. But if the Giants fail to harness it, they might contemplate trading him, perhaps for a later draft pick.

The Giants’ New Faces

Shepard’s reduced involvement is also a reflection of the team’s reshaped offense. Parris Campbell seems to be the favored choice in the slot, and with Wan’Dale Robinson’s comeback, Shepard’s prospects appear even slimmer. Given the team’s trajectory, it’s foreseeable that unless faced with injuries, the seasoned receiver might not see much action on the field in the upcoming games.

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