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Sterling Shepard practices, expects to play against Seahawks

Sterling Shepard of the Giants reacts after being injured

Sterling Shepard of the Giants reacts after being injured against the Chargers at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 8, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Mike Stobe

Sterling Shepard was limited in Wednesday’s practice but said he was able to run full speed on his sprained ankle and sees no reason why he won’t be able to play on Sunday against the Seahawks.

“Getting close,” the second-year receiver said of his prognosis. “It felt a lot better to run around and get moving. Last week I was very limited, so I got to cut a little bit today, got to run some individual routes, and got in some of the team sets. It felt pretty good.”

Shepard’s ankle was part of the rash of injuries to receivers that the Giants experienced in their Week 5 game against the Chargers. Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris all suffered season-ending injuries in that loss.

The Giants managed to beat the Broncos without Shepard on Sunday, relying on a strong running game and passing mostly to running backs and tight ends. Eli Manning completed only two passes to wide receivers. Having Shepard back on the field, Manning said, should change that dynamic.

“I thought Sterling looked good today,” Manning said. “I’ve thrown all the routes with him and just have confidence in his abilities and those reps that we’ve had over the last two years.”

Pep in their step

Wednesday was the Giants’ first practice after their first win of the season. And it showed.

“You have a little pep in your step and you are feeling more confident,” S Landon Collins said of the workout. “It’s big. Now that we understand how to do it, we have to continue to do it.”

Ben McAdoo said it was not a full practice after returning home from Denver early Monday morning, but he liked what he saw.

“The energy was good initially,” McAdoo said of the practice. “We slowed it down a little bit at the end, gave them a chance to cool down, gave them a chance to get some extra mental reps. But we practiced well. We did practice well.”

Giant steps

CB Eli Apple was excused from practice for personal reasons. McAdoo said he expects Apple to be back for Thursday’s practice . . . Collins (ankle), DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) and RB Paul Perkins (back) were limited. Collins said his ankle feels much better than last week, when he did not practice but played in the game. Vernon has not practiced at all since he aggravated his ankle injury in Week 4 against the Bucs . . . LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), G John Jerry (tooth), C Weston Richburg (concussion) and LB Calvin Munson (quad) did not practice.

New York Sports