The Giants' offense has been decimated by injuries throughout the 2021 season, and that trend continued on Sunday against the Cowboys. Starting wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who had already missed six games due to a quad issue entering the Week 15 divisional rematch, suffered a torn Achilles injury late in New York's 21-6 loss to Dallas, the team announced. Carted off the field in the fourth quarter, Shepard underwent an MRI afterward, according to NFL Media, and will miss the remainder of the season.
Shepard was busy on his final drive against the Cowboys, hauling in two passes for 15 yards, but went down in pain while running a route with less than two minutes left. Now sidelined for New York's final three games of 2021, he'll finish the season with a career-low 36 catches for 366 yards and one touchdown.
Injuries have plagued the former second-round pick for years now. Shepard missed four games in 2020 due to turf toe and six in 2019 due to a pair of concussions. Migraine issues also forced the Oklahoma product to miss five games in 2017. This offseason, the Giants reportedly restructured his contract, but the four-year, $41 million deal he signed in 2019 still runs through 2023.
Without Shepard, the Giants will likely lean more on Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and Pharoh Cooper out wide, with first-round rookie Kadarius Toney and veteran speedster John Ross also banged up. Shepard, meanwhile, could face an uphill battle in attempting to return to the field in time for the start of 2022.
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