Shepard finished with 17 receptions (on 33 targets) for 202 yards and a touchdown in 15 games played this season.
Shepard also rushed twice for 19 yards and returned three kickoffs for 65 yards. The shifty veteran was inked to a three-year contract last offseason following a career-best campaign that included 23 receptions for 341 yards and two touchdowns. Like his time with the Buccaneers, Shepard often found himself third or fourth on the Panthers depth chart. That came despite Kelvin Benjamin being traded mid-season and rookie second-rounder Curtis Samuel being limited to nine games by injuries. The 27-year-old will likely remain in a similar role next season.
Shepard (shoulder) practiced fully Thursday, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports.
After taking off roughly two weeks due to a shoulder injury, Shepard returned to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday and felt good enough one day later to complete an entire session unscathed. He joined No. 1 wideout Devin Funchess (shoulder) as full participants, which leaves the Panthers' receiving corps in a rare injury-free reality heading into Week 17.
Returning to practice for the first time since Week 15 prep, Shepard backed up head coach Ron Rivera's assertion Tuesday to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer that the wideout will be available in the regular-season finale. Shepard would lend more credence to the expectation with a full session by the end of the week, at which point the Panthers will pin down his potential to play Sunday in Atlanta.
Shepard was sidelined for Sunday's win over the Buccaneers with the shoulder injury after only managing one limited practice last week. It appears that he's made substantial progress in the last few days, so if Shepard is able to practice fully at any point during the current week, he should avoid carrying an injury designation into the finale. Shepard has drawn just one target over the last two games he has played, but he'll likely take on an elevated role in the passing attack both Sunday and during Carolina's postseason run with fellow wideout Damiere Byrd (lower leg) headed to injured reserve.
Shepard (shoulder) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers.
In the wake of a shoulder injury suffered Week 15, Shepard was unable to practice until Friday, when he took part on a limited basis. Afterward, head coach Ron Rivera said he expected the wideout to play Sunday, but he also mentioned an underlying worry about Shepard, whose status he considered the most up in the air among the five questionable Panthers, according to Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer. With his status determined, Shepard will yield reps to fellow wide receivers Damiere Byrd, Brenton Bersin, Kaelin Clay and potentially Mose Frazier, who was promoted from the practice squad Friday.
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||4||63||15.8||23||0||2||0||3|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||2||3||28||9.3||18||1||0||0||3|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||4||23||341||14.8||24||2||5||0||19|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||2||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||4||1||9||9.0||9||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||6||6.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||14||14.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||10||9.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|