New York Giants: Sterling Shepard to end season on injured reserve with Achilles injury

new york giants, sterling shepard

The New York Giants will be missing more than just Daniel Jones through the final games of the season. The injury curse that has been present all season long as continued, and this time it’s Sterling Shepard to go down. The wide receiver clearly picked up a worrying non-contact injury during the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and we know now that this injury was a torn Achilles that has seen Shepard sent to the injured reserve.

Shepard is headed to the IR list at the same time as Jones, who was injured earlier but wasn’t immediately ruled out. This will cap off a season where Shepard struggled to stay on the field due to multiple injuries. Despite starting out looking like the potential top receiver on the roster, Shepard missed his first game in week 4 and has seen his role in the offense diminish since week 6 when he had 10 receptions.

While this isn’t Shepard’s first time dealing with injury problems, this season is significant because he’ll finish with the lowest games played and overall yards of his career. In 2019, Shepard played in 10 games but managed 576 yards. This season, he’s only made it into 7 games and has 366 yards. His sole touchdown this year also leaves him with the lowest total of his career in that department.

What does this mean for Sterling Shepard?

All of this, of course, leaves Shepard in an uncertain future position.

Shepard isn’t in a player that the organization or fanbase is in a rush to see gone. He’s a solid competitor, and headed into this season looked like the reliable option for Daniel Jones among a number of new additions at wide receiver.

But his injury history across multiple seasons and his cost against the cap while headed into a likely rebuild next year make it debatable whether he’ll play for the Giants again.

His cap hit for 2022 rises to nearly $12.5M, and at that price, it looks like Shepard will have to end up as one of the team’s cap space cuts. It’s an unfortunate situation all around, but in their current state, the Giants aren’t able to throw money at a wide receiver who is having the worst season of his career and only played in 7 games.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones out, Sterling Shepard questionable going into Cowboys game

sterling shepard, new york giants

When the New York Giants take on the Cowboys for the second time this year, they’ll have to dig deep and win with less talent than usual. That’s because some important players will be out for this game, including Daniel Jones and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

The player that is the most important in all of this, of course, is Jones. Some reports have indicated that he’ll be shut down for the season, but we aren’t seeing that yet. Still, he hasn’t been cleared to return from his neck injury, and it looks at this point like more than a regular neck strain.

Mike Glennon is once again the starter for the Giants, who lack a fitting alternative.

Jones isn’t the only player out, though. The Giants will have cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson missing, after they were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week. Kadarius Toney was also placed on the list, giving the Giants one less weapon in the receiving game.

For some players, the verdict isn’t out yet but things aren’t looking great. Ben Bredeson, Austin Johnson, Leonard Williams, and Sterling Shepard were marked as questionable and participated in limited practice on Friday. Shepard made his return from an absence since week 8 when he played against the Chargers, but is now dealing with a calf injury following that game.

Saquon Barkley was also limited in practice, but it looks more likely than not that he’ll play. Barkley played in the past 4 games despite being listed with an injury, and hasn’t been placed on the ‘questionable’ section of the injury report.

All in all, it’s clear the Giants will need a well thought out game plan to remain competitive in this one. With the current injuries, talent alone isn’t enough.

New York Giants receivers will be tested by man-coverage-heavy Dolphins

new york giants, kenny golladay

The New York Giants earned a huge victory over the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. The Week 12 win kept the Giants alive (barely) in the playoff race. In Week 13, the Giants will face another team racing from behind to make the playoffs: the Miami Dolphins.

New York’s defense has been playing lights out in recent weeks and propelling the team to victory. However, the same could be said for the Miami Dolphins’ stellar defense. The Dolphins are running a man-coverage-heavy defense that is getting the job done and earning victories. This matchup will test the New York Giants receivers in Week 13.

The Giants receivers vs. the Dolphins defense

The Miami Dolphins utilize the most man coverage in the NFL. They have utilized man-coverage on 48% of their defensive play-calls. When the Giants have faced man coverage this season, the wide receiver target share is as follows:

  • 45% — Sterling Shepard
  • 24% — Kenny Golladay
  • 22% — Darius Slayton
  • 21% – Kadarius Toney
  • 11% – Evan Engram (19% vs. zone)

The most notable name on this list is Sterling Shepard. Shep sits atop of the list as the primary target against man coverage. This is a bit concerning considering Sterling has not played since Week 8 as he has been dealing with a quad injury. At Wednesday’s practice (12/1), Shepard was listed as a non-participant. His status looks bleak for Sunday.

The Giants will need Kenny Golladay to step up versus the Dolphins. Kenny Golladay signed a mega-contract with the Giants this offseason to be the team’s primary wide receiver. The expectations have not been met, though, as Golladay has dealt with lingering injuries all season long as New York’s offense continues to struggle mightily. If there was ever a time for KennyG to have his breakout game and score his first touchdown, it would be this Sunday.

All eyes, however, will be on quarterback Daniel Jones this week. The Giants’ third-year starter suffered a neck sprain last Sunday that is expected to keep him out of this week’s contest. However, Jones did participate in practice on Wednesday in a limited fashion. Regardless of who is behind center for the Giants on Sunday, it will be a difficult matchup for the offense as they face the red-hot Miami Dolphins defense in Week 13.

New York Giants: Kadarius Toney doesn’t practice Thursday, Saquon Barkley limited

At this point, many of the top playmakers for the New York Giants are synonymous with being injury prone. Just about all of their main skill position players on offense have spent time on the sidelines due to injuries in 2021, and some have been there more than others.

Promising rookie Kadarius Toney has battled injury from week to week, and that trend continues headed into the Eagles game. After playing on Monday Night Football and receiving 12 targets for 7 catches and 40 yards, Toney did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday according to the team injury report. The cause is a quad injury.

Another notable name dealing with an injury right now is Saquon Barkley. Barkley still isn’t completely over his ankle injury from earlier in the season, and was limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s easy to see why the Giants believe Barkley is still hurt, given his performance coming back against Tampa Bay. Barkley had 6 carries in that game for 25 yards, and while he also had 6 receptions, he was far from the kind of impact player the Giants were hoping to get with his return.

Barkley has only played in 6 games this season and, before the Bucs game, was out since week 5.

Sterling Shepard rounds out the group of big-name playmakers to be limited or sit out. Shepard, who has only played 5 games this season and hasn’t taken to the field since week 8, did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.

The New York Giants have one of the most injury prone offenses in the league

With the firing of Jason Garrett, many fans are considering the future of the offense. The problems, however, aren’t just in the realm of playcalling. While scheme and tactics are important, it’s equally important to have top talents that stay on the field and play consistently.

Every NFL team contends with injuries, but it would be a lie to say that every player is injured at the same rate. Some teams manage injury risk better than others, and the Giants appear to have built their offense on a house of cards that depends on specific players defying trends and staying healthy.

At times, the offense has even been lackluster after getting “offensive weapons” back – even as these players take the field again, they are often out of form and require more time before they can play to their potential.

This is undoubtedly an issue of roster construction. And when the team owners review Dave Gettleman’s performance this offseason and decide whether to keep him, the injury problems faced by the team right now should definitely be one o the topics brought up.

New York Giants offense should get a full force of weapons back on Monday

kadarius toney, giants

The New York Giants have a crucial Monday night matchup coming up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 3-6 Giants are beginning to turn their season around after a painfully slow start to kick off the year. Miscues, poor execution, and an abundance of injuries have held the Giants back this season. Thankfully, entering this primetime Week 11 matchup, the Giants’ offense is set to get a full force of weapons back in the lineup.

Players returning to the lineup

Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney were NOT LISTED on today’s injury report. This is significant because these two have been appearing on the injured list consistently this season. Golladay missed time with a knee injury. Toney missed a game with an ankle injury and also dealt with a thumb injury. Entering Week 11, both of these playmakers are healthy and ready to go for the Giants. The Giants’ passing attack is receiving a couple of huge boosts.

The New York Giants’ biggest and most explosive playmaker might make his return to the lineup on Monday night. Yes, Saquon Barkley, looks set to return. Barkley has been OUT since Week 5 after suffering an ankle injury versus the Cowboys. But he is now listed as QUESTIONABLE for Monday night and there seems to be a strong possibility he will be good to go.

Andrew Thomas is not listed on the injury report because of his injured reserve designation. However, there seems to be a real chance that the second-year left tackle gets back in the lineup on Monday. Thomas would likely be listed as questionable if he could be placed on the injury report. Andrew Thomas was placed on injured reserve after Week 6 with a leg injury. The Giants have absolutely felt Andrew’s absence and are eager to get him back in the lineup. According to reporters, Andrew Thomas is indeed trending toward playing on Monday night.

While he has not missed a game due to injury, running back Devontae Booker is hobbled and placed on the injury list. Booker suffered a hip injury in the Giants’ Week 9 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Despite being injured, Booker totaled 99 rushing yards and propelled the Giants’ offense to victory. Coming off the bye week, Booker is listed as QUESTIONABLE with this hip injury. Booker and Barkley are both questionable to play, but both seem destined to see the field in some capacity this week.

Who will miss Monday night?

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard has already been ruled OUT for Monday night with a quad injury. Shepard’s season was off to a fiery hot start before it was derailed by injuries. Shep suffered this quad injury in Week 8 and has been sidelined ever since. The Giants have not placed the receiver on injured reserve, so they must be hopeful that Sterling can make a return soon. However, Sterling Shepard will not return this week to play the Buccaneers.

New York Giants: Barkley and 3 receivers worked with trainers at practice

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants are seemingly doomed to suffer from injuries this season. That’s the case for every team to some extent, but Big Blue has been hit especially bad in 2021.

Multiple offensive stars missed the victory against Carolina, but those players are making progress towards returning.

Those players are running back Saquon Barkley and receivers Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay. Toney and Shepard both played in the Rams game but missed week 7, while Barkley and Golladay have been out since the Dallas loss.

While they haven’t returned to full speed in practice, it’s encouraging that they’re doing something at all.

Barkley and those three wide receivers were seen working out with trainers to the side of the main practice.

Will the New York Giants have more weapons vs Kansas City?

According to Jordan Raanan, it’s a toss-up as for whether or not we see any of these players against Kansas City.

The game is on Monday Night Football, so the Giants do benefit from an extra day of rest. On the other hand, though, none of the players in the running for a comeback are particularly far ahead in their recovery right now.

There will definitely be some pressure for the Giants to have their best players on the field when they take on Kansas City, one of the top teams in the AFC on paper.

Arguably, the Chiefs having a down year means this is one of the games the Giants have the best chance of achieving an upset victory.

Still, the Giants are a 2-5 team themselves. Even if momentum is trending upwards after their week 7 win, don’t expect them to take too many risks with their important talents for the future such as Barkley and Toney.

And a cautious approach may be for the better. Some would argue that we’ve already seen the Giants field players such as Barkley without them being one hundred percent this season, and the results haven’t been great.

New York Giants: Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton limited on Wednesday

new york giants, sterling shepard

As the New York Giants head towards week 5, they’re still dealing with injury problems for some of their top offensive talents. The Giants were missing two notable receivers, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, against the New Orleans Saints. The hope is that the pair will make their return in week 5 when the Giants head to Dallas, but their status on the injury report shows they aren’t over their injuries just yet.

Neither Shepard nor Slayton participated in the team’s walkthrough and light practice on Wednesday.

With that being said, the situation isn’t all bad. While they didn’t participate with the rest of the team, they did work out separately and put in some work on a side field. Furthermore, Joe Judge was confident enough to publicly take an optimistic position on getting them back in time for the next game.

Shepard specifically is a major player on the offense whose presence or absence will likely have a large impact. As others struggled with injuries, Shepard came into the season as the top wide receiver and played in more than 90% of the Giants’ offensive snaps in their first two games.

The wide receiver duo aren’t the only ones on the injury list at the moment. Jabrill Peppers, Andrew Thomas, Leonard Williams and Kaden Smith also sat out practice on Wednesday.

The Cowboys are entering Sunday’s game as favorite by nearly a touchdown. It’s clear the Giants have a chance at beating them, after they showed a step up in their upset win over the Saints, but the health status of several players could make the task far tougher.

We saw John Ross step up in week 4 due to the injuries. It remains to be seen if a similar step up from a backup will be needed in week 5.

Giants Injury Report: Shepard, Slayton trending down, two receivers will take their reps

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are heading into Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints down a few receivers. With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both suffering hamstring injuries against the Atlanta Falcons last weekend, the Giants will have to roll with a few reserves.

Losing both takes a toll in different ways, as Shepard operates primarily out of the slot and Slayton is Daniel Jones’s top deep-threat receiver. Most would coin Kenny Golladay as Jones’s top long-range target, but that’s a conversation for another day and a scheme-related issue, thanks to coordinator Jason Garrett.

Shepard acts as a security blanket in the passing game, with his great route running in the short/intermediate ranges of the field. His most lethal routes include whip and slant concepts. It is unlikely that either will take the field against New Orleans, but let’s take a look at two other receivers who will pick up their share of the workload.

 

Two receivers who can pick up the slack for the New York Giants:

1.) Collin Johnson

Johnson was surprisingly effective against the Falcons, picking up five receptions on seven targets for 51 yards. Johnson is the tallest receiver in the NFL at 6’7″, providing a big target for Jones in the passing game. After being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants scooped him up as a reserve option, and he showed off his talents early in Week 3.

Considering how many times Jones targeted him in the passing game, I expect him to enjoy a fruitful number of reps against the Saints, even if the Giants do call up a reserve option like Dante Pettis.

2.) Kadarius Toney

Getting Kadarius Toney more involved is a necessity for Garrett, who has seldom used the 20th overall pick from the 2021 NFL draft this year. Toney recorded two catches last week against Atlanta, picking up 16 yards. He showed off his quick movements and agility with the ball in his hands, so designing a few creative plays around him would be ideal if the Giants want to get him involved. Toney is still working his way up as a route runner and receiver, but getting him into space is all the Giants need to do to maximize his talents.

Giants News: Sterling Shepard injury update, Jason Garrett play-calling makes zero sense

new york giants, sterling shepard

The New York Giants experienced a bevy of injuries in their third consecutive loss against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon. With Blake Martinez suffering a torn ACL which will keep them out for the remainder of the 2021 season, the offensive side also experienced a few injuries.

Receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both suffered hamstring injuries, and with their statuses up in the air, the Giants may have to prepare for the New Orleans Saints with the expectation that both won’t be available.

However, there is still hope that Shepard can play next Sunday in New Orleans, the first game of the season after Hurricane Ida forced the Saints to play elsewhere.

Shepard was in the midst of a career season prior to the injury, tallying 223 yards and one score over three games. His averages were hurt significantly after leaving in the first half, but in his absence, reserve pass-catcher Collin Johnson stepped up to the plate. Johnson was targeted seven times, hauling in five catches for 51 yards.

Shepard being forced out will significantly alter the Giants’ offensive game plans moving forward, but it would indirectly give Kadarius Toney more action. Toney enjoyed 66% of offensive snaps after Shepard went down in the defeat, bringing in two receptions for 16 yards on three targets.

Getting more creative with Toney in the passing game is essential, as they can use him on screens, short and intermediate routes. Ultimately, scheming him into space and getting the ball in his hands is enough to pick up yardage and move the chains. However, relying on coordinator Jason Garrett to accomplish that is like trying to hit a bulls-eye with blindfolds on.

Oddly, Garrett refrained from using the read option and more RPOs against Atlanta, keeping Daniel Jones in the pocket. After the team scored 29 points against Washington using more creative playcalling, the former Dallas Cowboys head coach ripped that portion of his playbook out of the game plan.

It is quite mind-boggling that Garrett continues to change his playcalling on a weekly basis and make adjustments that simply aren’t benefiting the team. The Giants haven’t thrown a passing touchdown in the red zone since last season, which is completely unacceptable for a team that needs to curate more points and increase their offensive production.

The Giants’ offense is currently ranked 25th in the league in points per game and 15th in yards, once again showcasing a bottom of the barrel unit that is incapable of scoring regularly against bad defenses, notably the Atlanta Falcons, who had given up an average of 40 points per game and were without their top corner in Week 3.

New York Giants: Victor Cruz predicts breakout year for Sterling Shepard

sterling shepard, new york giants

With recent additions to the wide receiver position, some wondered where Sterling Shepard would fall in the New York Giants‘ plans for this season. However, it looks like Shepard is in for a large role after a training camp and preseason where both Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney have dealt with injury troubles.

Shepard is one of the offense’s main healthy weapons right now, and former Giant Victor Cruz is predicting a big year for the wide receiver.

“I think watch out for Sterling Shepard. I think he’s going to be a guy… Sterling Shepard is going to be a guy that’s going to do some really big things this year that might slip under the radar,” Cruz said to TMZ Sports on Saturday.

Things have changed a lot for Shepard over the past year. He’s had a hard time playing a full season, participating in 10 games in 2019 and 12 games in 2020. He hasn’t had a 1,000 yard receiving season yet, and the closest he came was back in 2018 when he racked up 872 yards.

Because of problems with concussions that led to his long absences in 2019, many believed the Giants should trade the player while his value is still high.

This season appears to be the other way around. Shepard is the healthy one, and it’s other high profile Giants receivers that are at risk of missing time with injury. Given these circumstances, this is just about as good of a time as any for Shepard to have a breakout season and assert himself as the top weapon in the receiving game for Daniel Jones.

Some will undoubtedly be cautious in making predictions about Shepard thanks to his history of missing games, but Victor Cruz is certainly confident in Shepard making something happen this season and definitely knows a thing or two about Giants wide receivers.