The New York Giants revamped their offensive lineup this offseason, adding a slew of new talent at wide receiver and tight end. Some familiar faces will also return this season, though, including veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
The Giants re-signed Shepard this offseason on a one-year deal. Shepard suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3 of the 2022 season, marking the fourth season in a row he has appeared in 12 or fewer games.
Shepard is making progress, however, as he stated at mandatory minicamp. The Giants’ longest-tenured player told reporters that he is “right on schedule” in his ACL recovery on the first day of minicamp on Tuesday.
Giants WR Sterling Shepard recovering from injury ahead of training camp
The Giants drafted Shepard in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Since then, the Oklahoma product has been a staple in Big Blue’s offense despite battling through injuries throughout his career. Entering 2023, Shepard is no longer viewed as a starter in the offensive lineup. However, his presence on the team as a leader and rotational player still holds value.
Entering his eighth season in the league, Shepard is making progress toward his return to the field. “My goal is to be ready for the season,” Shepard said. “So, whatever that takes is what I’m going to try to do, but I’m also not going to rush it. You get to that time and I’m not feeling right, then that’s just what it’s going to be. But that is my goal and just take it day-by-day like I said and try to be the best I can be that day.”
Despite his struggles with injuries, the Giants brought Shepard back this offseason. He expressed his gratitude at minicamp for the second chance that the organization is giving him.
“It means a lot, man, you know what I mean?” Shepard said. “This organization has been really good to me throughout my playing career, and some of the stuff that’s happened over the years. But I’m grateful and thankful and I try to give this organization everything I’ve got just for those reasons.”
After suffering his season-ending injury in 2022, Shepard still found a way to make an impact on the team. He became a pseudo-player-coach, constantly contributing on the sideline as a mentor and hype man for the team. Shepard’s leadership stood out and ultimately landed him his extension with Big Blue. Going into 2023, the goal for Shepard will be to stay healthy and find ways to contribute to the loaded New York Giants offense.