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Giants using extra caution with Sterling Shepard following two concussions this season

Sterling Shepard #87 of the Giants reacts after

Sterling Shepard #87 of the Giants reacts after missing a pass during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Sterling Shepard remains in the concussion protocol. But what happens when he is cleared?

A player who achieves that status usually is back on the field in the next game, but with Shepard having suffered two concussions this season — one in Week 1 against Dallas and the most recent one less than two weeks ago against the Vikings — the Giants might want to exercise extra caution with the wide receiver.

“Listen, when he can play, the doctors will tell us,” Pat Shurmur said on Thursday.

That has yet to happen. Shepard has looked quick and decisive in practices this week despite being listed as limited and wearing a yellow non-contact jersey. The final step in the protocol is for a player to be a full participant in a workout and then visit with an independent neurologist. That could happen for Shepard on Friday or Saturday. Or it might take until next week.

Even if Shepard is discharged from the protocol, there is no guarantee he will play against the Cardinals.

“Certainly, player safety is on the front burner for us,” Shurmur said. “So we’ll just have to see where he goes with that.”

Notes  &  quotes: James Bettcher was Markus Golden’s defensive coordinator in Arizona when Golden had 12 1⁄2 sacks in 2016. A torn ACL in 2017 derailed his career progress, but Golden has five sacks this season and Bettcher said he is “really close to being that same guy.” He added: “Markus and I talked at the beginning of the year and the goal wasn’t to get back to that guy, it was to be better than that guy . . . I think if there is anybody that’s going to come off of an injury like he had and be able to become a better player, it’s this guy.” . . . Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said last week’s blocked punt that led to a touchdown by the Patriots was simply a case of Nate Stupar being pushed backward into the kick. “That’s exactly it,” McGaughey said. “It’s one guy beating another guy.” That other guy, Stupar, was cut on Monday . . . Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle) was limited in Thursday’s practice after not participating on Wednesday.

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