New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard has had a difficult — and at times, frightening — 2019 season.
But no one is willing to admit that he’s done for the season. At least, for now.
Shepard returned to Giants practice on Monday after missing the past five games after entering the NFL’s concussion protocol for the third time this season during Week 9.
Entering the year as one of his team’s top targets following the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., Shepard has only appeared in four games.
He suffered his first concussion of the season during the 2019 opener against the Dallas Cowboys, which forced him to miss Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 26-year-old lasted just three games upon his return in Week 3, suffering another on in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings when his head hit the turf while trying to catch a Daniel Jones-thrown deep pass.
There was a belief that he would be back for New York’s Monday-night clash with the Dallas Cowboys for Week 9, but he entered the league’s concussion protocol just a day before the 37-18 loss.
It had many questioning the longevity of Shepard’s NFL career or if he’d ever return to the field at all.
Now, the question is whether or not Shepard will suit up for the Giants this Sunday in a Week 12 clash against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
“They’re still going through it, so we’ll see what the week brings. But we’re encouraged that they’ll make it through,” head coach Pat Shurmur said of Shepard and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
When he’s been in the fold, Shepard has been one of the Giants’ most utilized receivers. He caught 25 passes for 267 yards and a touchdown this season, which still ranks third amongst New York’s wide receivers this season.