Sterling Shepard suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys and will enter the league’s protocol for such injuries. If the wide receiver is unable to play in Sunday’s game against the Bills, it would leave the Giants without either of their two projected starters at the position. Golden Tate is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances and is already sidelined.
Pat Shurmur said on Monday afternoon that Shepard “may be dealing with a concussion, we’ll know more [later].” The Giants confirmed the concussion after Shurmur’s conference call.
“Each guy is different as you know, so we just have to see how it goes here,” Shurmur said of a timeline for Shepard. Some players miss just a day or two of practice from a concussion and are cleared to play the next game, while others can take weeks or even months.
“Hopefully we can get Sterling back for this week,” Eli Manning said.
Shepard played 68 of the 69 offensive snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. He caught six passes for 42 yards.
“He has to go through some of the testing,” Shurmur said. “It appears like he might be in the protocol here, but each guy is different as you know, so we just have to see how it goes here.”
Having Shepard out would leave the Giants very shorthanded at receiver. They have some capable veterans such as Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler and Russell Shepard who are more suited to supporting roles than as leading men. They also have rookie Darius Slayton, who missed the opener with a hamstring injury.
The Giants had an open roster spot and could have added a wide receiver but instead claimed rookie linebacker Tuzar Skipper off waivers from the Steelers.
Shepard signed a four-year, $41 million extension this offseason and was poised to become the team’s No. 1 receiver after they traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. Shepard fractured his left thumb on the first day of training camp in July and did not play in any preseason games although he practiced extensively with the team during the summer.
The Giants had two other starters injured on Sunday: Linebacker Kareem Martin left the game with a knee sprain and guard Kevin Zeitler suffered a shoulder injury (he played the entire game).
“We don’t think it’ll be long term and maybe not much at all,” Shurmur said of Zeitler’s injury. “He’s fine though. In my mind, he is.”