The Giants have started the new tradition of having practice players of the week wear throwback jerseys of members of the team’s Ring of Honor. One player on the Giants, though, has been doing it since he arrived.
Veteran linebacker Jabaal Sheard was issued the number 91 when he signed with the team off the Jaguars’ practice squad in October. That number, of course, belonged to Justin Tuck.
"When I got here that was the biggest pressure," Sheard said on Friday. "I was like, ‘You’re giving me this number and that was one of the greats that was here with the Giants?’"
Filling a familiar number was something Sheard had done previously in his career.
"I had the same pressure kind of in Indy when they gave me 93," he said of being issued Dwight Freeney’s old jersey. "That was another monster."
Aside from the long dreadlocks that flow from his helmet, Sheard did look a little like Tuck on Sunday when he came up with what was essentially a walk-off strip-sack against the Bengals. For many Giants fans, seeing 91 streak into the backfield and make a play was a flashback.
Sheard said he has not yet spoken with Tuck about the number.
"But I’m honored to wear the number," he said, "and I’ll make the best out of it and just rock out as a G-Man."