Sterling Shepard #3 of the Giants walks off the field after...

Sterling Shepard #3 of the Giants walks off the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. Credit: Mike Stobe

What likely was his final day in a Giants uniform — what was that like for one longtime receiver?

Sterling Shepard had been looking forward to this moment one last time — emerging from the tunnel at MetLife Stadium and peering through his helmet at 100 yards of green turf in front of him and hearing those cheering fans in the stands.

The Giants had the eight-year pro introduced last after the offensive starters because Sunday likely was the final time he would do this dressed in this uniform — and perhaps in an NFL uniform.

“The feeling that everybody loves,” Shepard said of that tunnel experience. “If you ask any guy, they’ll tell you that feeling is like no other. And it wasn’t anything short of that today.”

With injuries claiming all but 10 games during the previous two seasons, with his light use this season and with his 31st birthday approaching on Feb. 10, Shepard had come to the realization that this likely was it for his Big Blue run.

His day went well. The Giants beat Philadelphia, 27-10, to cap a disappointing 6-11 season and Shepard made three catches for 18 yards to give him 372 receptions for his career, passing Jeremy Shockey’s 371 for fifth on the team’s all-time list.

“I knew that this was probably going to be the last time being in this jersey,” Shepard said. “I wanted to take it all in with my brothers and enjoy every moment of it. That’s exactly what I did.

“It meant a lot [to pass Shockey],” he added. “I grew up watching that guy. It was a special deal to get it. It wasn’t easy. But my career hasn’t been easy. So I didn’t expect it to be any other way.”

Shepard, drafted in the second round in 2016, wouldn’t put a timeline on when he will decide if this is it for him as an NFL player.

“Good teammate, has a lot of energy,” coach Brian Daboll said. “ . . . He’s a really good person, a good father. I’ve got a lot of respect for Shep.”

The Giants had dropped five straight and 17 of the previous 20 against the Eagles. So to go out with a victory over these guys meant a lot to Shepard, too.

“I’m just happy we were able to end the season on a high note, especially my last time being in blue, being able to get those guys,” he said. “I don’t like those guys.”  

How did Tyrod Taylor do in his possible Giants finale?

Quite well.

Taylor can become a free agent, and the 34-year-old quarterback put some nice work on video, going 23-for-32 for 297 yards with one touchdown and one INT. He also ran eight times for 38 yards. He left with a thumb injury and again after taking a hit in the back, but he soon returned both times.   

Where will the Giants pick in the first round of the draft?

They will have the sixth pick.

Quarterback? Receiver? Offensive lineman? You make the call.

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