Sterling Shepard was looked at as a wide receiver of the future for the New York Giants, but injuries interrupted his prime and limited him to 10 games in 2021 and 2022 combined. Now, four weeks into the 2023 NFL season, Shephard will get another chance at an increased role in the struggling Giants offense once more.
Giants’ Sterling Shepard Not Used to Low Snap Count
Shepard has had a bad luck of the draw in the injury department. He tore his ACL in Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season, which carried over into 2022.
His return to the field was short-lived as Shepard suffered another debilitating injury — this time a torn ACL in Week 3 that ended his season.
Having Daniel Jones only look his way three times in 31 snaps has been anything but what Shepard is accustomed to at the professional level. Jared Schwartz of the New York Post reports that Shepard was taken aback by the obstacles he’s faced, sharing this quote from the wideout:
“It’s happened to me, in the blink of an eye and then things change and you’re not ready. I’ve tried my best to not get down. As tough as it was, it’s still tough. I’m used to playing 98 percent of the snaps, you go to taking two snaps in the game, it’s just a big change,” Shepard said.
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A Giants Receiving Corp in Need of a Spark
Darren Waller and Darius Slayton are leading the way for the Giants in the receiving department, but neither are on pace for 1,000-plus-yard seasons. Both Waller and Slayton, as well as Shepard, would have to go on unprecedented tears in order to reach that milestone.
Waller has achieved said feat twice in his career as a member of the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. The Giants have not aired the football out with regularity, and as a result, Jones has relied heavily on his tight end for shorter yardage gains.
Jones will now have Shepard to look to in hopes of increasing New York’s first down percentage while taking defensive pressure off of Waller, which will, in turn, open up the field for his outside receivers to get free in single coverage.