Sterling Shepard took the next step toward getting back on the field when the Giants on Tuesday designated him to return from injured reserve. He participated in the team’s brief walk-through practice, his first action with the team since he suffered a turf toe injury in Week 2, and is eligible to be promoted to the active roster at any point in the next 21 days.
If he is to play against the Eagles on Thursday night, that would have to happen before 4 p.m. on the day of the game.
Joe Judge said before Tuesday’s practice that the workout would help determine who among the injured players would be ready to play Thursday. Shepard certainly fits into that category. He worked with trainers on the side on Monday, and after that positive showing was given the green light to take this next step.
"Good to have him out there," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "He’s been out there [on the side] for a couple weeks now. I know he is doing everything he can to get out there, but he’s got to be smart and that’s on him and the trainers to do that."
If Shepard does not play on Thursday night, his next opportunity for game action would not be until a week from Monday against the Bucs.
Whenever he returns, Shepard should help a passing offense that ranks 30th in the NFL and has produced just three receiving touchdowns this season.
"He’s obviously a special player and can do a lot of different things," Jones said. "It’ll be great to have him back."
Notes & quotes: Philadelphia area product Joe Judge did not have a final head count on the number of ticket requests he has received for Thursday’s game, but he did have a fairly stern stipulation for those who would like to attend. "My only rule is anyone who shows up who I grew up with or have blood ties with, you have to wear blue," Judge said. "I respect their love for the Eagles, but hey look, man, you ain’t showing up and cheering against my kids’ Christmas now. You better put on the blue and cheer for us." This will be the first time his wife and four children will get to watch him in person as a head coach. "The kids have school on Friday," Judge said, "but they’ve gone to school plenty of times tired after making it to a game." . . . Special teams captain Jabrill Peppers said it was "good for the culture" that LT Andrew Thomas was benched as a starter on Sunday for being late to a team meeting . . . WR Darius Slayton (foot) and CB Darnay Holmes (neck) were projected as limited and seem to have a good shot at playing . . . LB Tae Crowder, who scored the winning touchdown on a fumble recovery Sunday, was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring. Crowder can return after missing three games. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard, who had been on the Jaguars’ practice squad, was signed to take his spot on the 53-man roster.