New York Giants: Is Sterling Shepard’s career in jeopardy?

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants receiver, Sterling Shepard.
Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Should the New York Giants be concerned about Sterling Shepard’s health in 2020?

Last season, Giants’ wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered multiple concussions, forcing him out for six games in total. Spanning from his high school playing days to the current time, Shepard his battled head injuries consistently, and with CTE a significant concern for NFL players, monitoring his overall health must be a priority.

Now, it’s important to remember that football players are trying to make the most money they can to support their families for years down the line, and having your career cut short can often-times by damaging to their accumulated wealth. In 2019, Sterling suffered two concussions three weeks apart, with lingering symptoms for months after the fact.

Repeated head trauma is a frequent occurrence in the NFL, and Shepard’s career could be in danger because of it. Even if he wants to continue playing, specialists could come to the conclusion that it’s better for the sake of his livelihood that he stop, which could end his career then and there.

Worrying about him suffering another concussion is a genuine concern to have going into the 2020 season, and the Giants should be considering that reality if it does progress into something more significant.

Despite his missed time last season, Shepard still posted 576 yards and three scores, logging his second-highest catch rate in four years at 68.7%. The Giants’ slot receiver is an instrumental part of the offense and is well-utilized when on the field, but his play-style is similar to that of Golden Tate — heavy usage of crossing/mesh routes with a dependency on yards after the catch. This can often lead to more hits and physical blows, increasing the probability of concussions.

Hopefully, Shepard can avoid any further brain damage, but it’s impossible to guarantee. He recently signed a four-year, $41 million deal with the Giants. He has three years remaining on his contract, with $21.26 million guaranteed.