Sterling Shepard is in the concussion protocol, even if he doesn’t look like he needs to be.
The wide receiver was not able to practice on Wednesday because of his injury but showed no ill effects from the concussion as he did some jogging, rode an exercise bicycle, threw some passes in pre-practice drills, and even danced a little during the team’s workout. His mere presence on the practice field opens the possibility that he will be cleared and available to play against the Bills on Sunday.
“He’s a tough, competitive guy,” Pat Shurmur said. “I’m not saying we’ve lost him. We’ll see what the week brings.”
Of course, there was a time when Shepard’s symptoms were a bit more obvious. In the third quarter on Sunday he set a block on a running play, grabbed his helmet, and fell backward to the ground. He returned to the game after that and played every snap but one.
“I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” veteran receiver Russell Shepard said of Sterling Shepard’s in-game status. “After seeing the play and seeing certain things throughout the week, I think the front office, the coaching staff, as well as Shep, are trying to come together and make the best out of the situation. I’m not quite sure about everything that happened throughout the game, but I know they’re going to do the best they can to protect him going forward.”
If Sterling Shepard is unable to play Sunday, the Giants will likely rely on Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer as their starters. The Giants on Wednesday re-signed veteran T.J. Jones, who had a strong preseason for them but did not make the initial 53-man roster. Rookie Darius Slayton is still recovering from a hamstring injury and seems unlikely to play, and Cody Core was claimed off waivers last week, which means Russell Shepard could see an increase in his offensive playing time.
“I never know my role coming in,” Russell Shepard said. “It could have come last week if they had seen what was going on with Shep a little earlier. I just need to be ready at any point.”
Notes & quotes: G Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) was limited in Wednesday’s practice but should be able to play Sunday. “I think he’ll be fine,” Shurmur said … LB Kareem Martin (knee) was placed on injured reserve. Shurmur said he is expected to miss “extended” time. WR T.J. Jones will take his spot on the roster … LB Tuzar Skipper was preparing to re-sign with the Steelers on Monday when the Giants claimed him off waivers. “He’s a pass rusher, edge pressure guy,” Shurmur said. “We signed him with the idea that Kareem [Martin] might be out for a while.”