Sterling Shepard is one of the most important players for the New York Giants this year – Shepard is the obvious candidate to be the team’s number one receiver, obviously, after the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., and the team paid him accordingly in a four year contract that was signed just this offseason.
But before being able to play a single game under his new contract, Shepard went out with a fractured thumb… An injury that could potentially be very bad for the Giants and their chances of being competitive at the position. It looks like fans might not have to worry too much however, as Shepard is predicted to come back in week one and is already showing the signs of meeting that estimated return date.
Sterling Shepard seen catching a ball with two hands in practice today. A good sign as he recovers from the broken thumb 👍 pic.twitter.com/QsQb30Kn7X
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) August 3, 2019
Shepard wasn’t just seen on the field working out with the rest of the team in training camp, but actively making a catch – if the thumb injury was worse, this wouldn’t be possible at this point in time. Making catches in practice doesn’t tell one hundred percent of the story but it does show that Shepard is far along enough in his recovery that the week one return prediction isn’t just blind optimism.
It currently looks like the Giants lineup at the position could consist of Shepard, the similarly named but unrelated Russell Shepard, and Cody Latimer, who should hopefully have a full season healthy unlike last year. It’s not the receiving group that the Giants wanted to start the season with – it looks like Golden Tate will have a four game PED suspension upheld – but the scenario is a far cry from one where they would have begun the season without Tate or Shepard.