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Eli Manning and Giants want to get Sterling Shepard more involved

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard celebrates

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter of an NFL game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

Eli Manning didn’t throw any passes to Sterling Shepard on Sunday, but when he ran into the rookie receiver in the team’s facility on Tuesday he offered up something else.

An apology.

“I talked to him, I apologized for not getting him any catches,” Manning said. “We need to get him the ball, get him some catches. It’s just the way the day went on some things. But he’s done a good job all year and we have to do a good job of getting him involved in the offense.”

It was the first time all season that Shepard was shut out. In the two previous weeks he had caught the winning touchdowns. Shepard did have a 22-yard run in the fourth quarter to set up a score, but other than that was a non-factor.

He also seemed very mature and OK with it.

“He didn’t have to apologize to me,” Shepard said. “He just said, ‘You are a big part of the offense and we need to get you involved.’ He was just apologizing to me, but it’s all good.”

Ben McAdoo did not apologize, at least not publicly, but he did note in his conference call on Monday that he wants Shepard to be included in the offense.

“I know that I’m going to be able to touch the ball, especially next game and moving forward,” Shepard said. “That’s why I’m not making a big deal about it.”

The next game is against the Steelers, who average 24.2 points per game.

“I know their offense is going to put up a lot of points, so hopefully I don’t have a week like that again,” Shepard said. “I can’t afford to.”

Pugh easing back

Justin Pugh (knee) said he is feeling better after last week’s setback but will be more cautious when he returns to practice Wednesday.

“I don’t want to keep having setbacks and missing extra weeks so I’m going to make sure I’m 100 percent and doing it the right way,” Pugh said. “I learned from it for sure and I’m going to make sure I do it properly and make sure I’m back for this whole stretch.”

He said it is too soon to say whether he will play on Sunday against the Steelers. “I wouldn’t say no way for Sunday, but I wouldn’t say 100 percent I’m in for Sunday [either],” he said. “It’s really how my knee responds to going out and doing more and more.”

Giant steps

The Giants placed RB Orleans Darkwa (leg) on IR and promoted S/LB Eric Pinkins from the practice squad . . . C/G Brett Jones (calf) said he’ll return to practice Wednesday. “I’ll go out and see what I can do,” he said . . . K Robbie Gould, who has missed three extra-point attempts in the past two games, said he knows he needs to “[fix] it and do it quick.” The veteran had missed four PATs in his entire career before this year, though most of those were from a much shorter distance.


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