Sterling Shepard has been nothing short of a revelation for the New York Giants this year, the rookie second round pick out of Oklahoma showing that he is a playmaker. But in Sunday’s win at the Cleveland Browns, Shepard was held without a catch.
All of which led his future Hall of Fame quarterback to apologize to him.
Eli Manning spoke with the rookie about the lack of passes that came his way in the win over Cleveland, a game in which Shepard didn’t register a reception and wasn’t targeted once. It was the first time in Shepard’s 11 games as a professional that he’s been held without a catch. And it comes after consecutive games where he hauled in five catches in each of the team’s two wins.
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“I talked to him. I apologized for not getting him a catch. We need to get him the ball and get him catches,” Manning said on Tuesday. “That’s just the way the day kind of went. He’s done a good job all year and we have to get him involved in the offense.”
So far this year, primarily in the slot, Shepard has 44 catches for 476 yards and five touchdowns. They are solid numbers for a player who also has proven to be a strong run-blocker and has been seemingly automatic on third down.
Manning approached Shepard on Tuesday during the team’s session in the weight room.
“He just said, ‘You are a big part of the offense and we need to get you involved.’ He was just apologizing to me, but it is all good,” Shepard said.