Shepard managed three catches (on 10 targets) for 28 yards and a touchdown in the 2015 season. The third-year pro was hardly a blip on the offensive radar in 2015, despite playing a total of 209 snaps from scrimmage. Shepard was unable to capitalize on the opportunities that came about as a result of knee injuries to fellow wideouts Louis Murphy and Vincent Jackson, with undrafted rookies Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries making a bigger impact. As was the case in 2014, Shepard's biggest contributions once again came on special teams, where he tallied 223 snaps. Absent a shuffling of the receiver depth chart prompted by unforseen personnel moves, the 25-year-old appears destined to battle with Dye and Humphries for a spot in the lower rungs of the wideout totem pole in 2016.
Shepard secured his sole target for 18 yards in Sunday's 26-21 loss to the Bears. The reserve receiver made his first appearance on the stat sheet since Week 11 against the Eagles. Shepard, like fellow wideouts Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye, received a boost in playing time due to Vincent Jackson's absence as a result of a knee injury. The LSU product may have a similar opportunity next week against the Panthers if Jackson sits out the season finale.
Shepard secured his lone target for a four-yard touchdown in Sunday's 45-17 victory over the Eagles. It was only the third catch of the season for Shepard, who was unable to garner any appreciable playing time stemming from the recent knee injuries to fellow wideouts Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy. However, Shepard did see a spike in opportunity Sunday as the fourth receiver, with rookie Donteaa Dye inactive for the Week 11 contest. With Jackson now back on the field, it will be interesting to see how the bottom of the Bucs' receiver depth chart shakes out week to week for the duration of the season.
Shepard was only on the field for four snaps in Week 8, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Despite a decimated receiving corps, the second-year pro was passed over for the start in favor of rookie Donteea Dye. Shepard then saw undrafted rookie Adam Humphries surpass him in playing time during the game, and received most of his work on special teams, where he was in on 15 snaps. It remains to be seen if his role from scrimmage will see an uptick in Week 9, but Shepard appears to be trailing Dye and Humphries at present.
Shepard (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game at Atlanta. The Buccaneers will choose between Shepard and Donteea Dye to start at wideout opposite Mike Evans, as Vincent Jackson (knee), Louis Murphy (knee), and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) are all absent. Used primarily on special teams in two-plus seasons, Shepard has just five catches (on 10 targets) for 69 yards in 33 appearances.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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