The bye week in the NFL is meant to help teams recover from the fatigue and physical toll the regular season takes on players. The New York Giants used it appropriately, and wide receiver Sterling Shepard is getting closer to return from a second concussion, picked up in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings several weeks ago.
Both Shepherd and cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned to practice on Monday morning, both suffering from concussion symptoms. Jenkins picked up his ailment last week against the New York Jets.
“They’re still going through it, so we’ll see what the week brings,” Pat Shurmur said after practice. “But we’re encouraged that they’ll make it through.”
The loss of Shepard has been detrimental to the Giants’ offense, especially for rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones. Shepard has earned 267 yards and one score over four games with Big Blue, and he was integral in their two wins on the season, racking up 176 total yards and his lone touchdown.
Also, he enjoyed a 77.8% catch rate during those two victories over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins.
The Giants’ number one receiver has been sorely missed the past few weeks, while free-agent pick-up Golden Tate has taken over a majority of the targets. Rookie pass-catcher Darius Slayton has also performed well in his absence. Having a full arsenal of weapons will give Jones a far better chance at success and operating the offense efficiently.
The New York Giants need to be cautious with Sterling Shepard:
The Giants need to be careful with Shepard, though, as suffering two concussions in one season can cause serious implications down the road. With CTE being a major disease for NFL players, being careful and shutting down Shepard should be on the minds of the Giants brass. Ensuring he returns in 2020 without any hindrance should be the priority.