Shepard was limited in practice Wednesday due to a back injury.
Shepard's presence on the Giants' initial Week 2 injury report was forecast when he appeared to be a non-participant during the portion of practice open to the media, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com reports. In the end, Shepard was able to fit in enough reps to draw a limited tag Wednesday. After a rookie season in which he scattered five DNPs across the schedule, his status will be one to watch as the clear No. 2 target for Eli Manning behind Odell Beckham.
Shepard caught five of seven targets for 48 yards Sunday against the Jaguars.
Odell Beckham saw 15 targets, but Shepard was the next most involved pass catcher on the team, something that's likely to be the case often this year. Shepard draws a considerably easier matchup in Week 2 against the Cowboys.
Shepard hauled in all seven targets for 78 yards during Friday's preseason game versus the Jets.
In the absence of Odell Beckham, Shepard was looked at early and often by Eli Manning in what amounted to a dress rehearsal for the Giants. Among the looks, three of them went for greater than 10 yards (13, 20 and 30) while three others were negligible (three, two and one yards). Shepard's workload will scale back slightly once Beckham is back in the fold, but this performance puts his preseason line at a healthy 10 catches (on 11 targets) for 117 yards and no touchdowns.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning expects Shepard to have a big season, Matt Lombardo of NJ.com reports. "I thought Sterling had a great camp during the spring," said Manning. "He's understanding the coverages, understanding the route combinations, he understands zone and man, and how to make little moves to get open against different techniques. I think he's primed for a big year. And I've been really impressed by his work ethic."
Shepard averaged 8.2 targets and 72.2 receiving yards in his 10 healthy appearances last season, with an ankle injury, neck injury and migraines causing him to miss five full games and the majority of a sixth. While unlikely to match that volume if Odell Beckham (ankle), Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram all stay healthy, the third-year wideout won't need a huge workload to be a useful fantasy option if he can repeat last year's impressive efficiency marks -- 70.2 percent catch rate, 8.7 yards per target -- while adding a few more touchdowns. Shepard is locked in as the Giants' No. 2 wide receiver and seems to have Manning's full trust.
|3||9/23/18||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/18||@ ATL||8:15 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/18||@ SF||8:15 pm|
|12||11/25/18||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|2016||New York Giants||16||16||65||683||10.5||32||8||6||0||42|
|2017||New York Giants||11||10||59||731||12.4||77||2||7||3||36|
|2018||New York Giants||2||2||8||72||9.0||16||0||0||0||4|
|2016||New York Giants||16||16||3||31||10.3||22||0||1||1|
|2017||New York Giants||11||10||4||4||1.0||12||0||0||1|
|2018||New York Giants||2||2||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2016||New York Giants||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||New York Giants||11||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||New York Giants||2||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||New York Giants||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New York Giants||11||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2018||New York Giants||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|