Sterling Shepard reassured New York Giants fans that he will be ready for the regular season premiere on September 10.
Friday afternoon’s session at New York Giants training camp, reduced to walk and jog-through activities, was so slow that the biggest event was a post-practice presser.
But considering the news it yielded, Giants fans will probably be more than happy with that.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, expected by many to be a bigger part of the Giants’ offense this season, made his first statements since he was carted off the field with an ankle injury on Wednesday morning. Shepard appeared to be in good spirits and was walking without any noticeable limp or assistance. Previously, Shepard had been seen wearing a protective boot, but that was absent during his media segment.
“(The ankle) is feeling pretty good. I’m moving along really well,” Shepard said. “At first I was pretty worried. I’ve never rolled my ankle like that before and I felt it pop. That was the main thing that scared me. The initial pain wasn’t too good but now, we’re moving along and it’s doing pretty good now.”
Shepard also denied reports that he was “in tears” as he was escorted off the field.
“I saw something online that said I was in tears coming off the field, which was pretty amazing because you guys were two fields over and I had on a mirror visor, so that definitely scared some people,” Shepard recalled. “I was kind of screaming, but that’s just because I have never felt that pain before. But yeah, it’s just like a basketball roll is what they are saying, a little bit of a bone bruise.”
His mother Cheri, however, was another story.
“I didn’t tell her anything,” he said. “I wasn’t going to tell her, but she saw it online or my agent called or something, so she was flipping out.”
Shepard was not entirely sure about a timetable for his return to the field, as he didn’t commit to any preseason games and said he was going to be “taking it day-by-day”. He did, however, assure the masses that he would be ready for the Giants’ highly anticipated Week 1 regular season tilt with the Dallas Cowboys.
“I will be ready for Week 1, for sure,” he said. “I’m happy it happened now and not closer to Week 1. It’s definitely a blessing that it didn’t turn out to be anything too serious. So I’m blessed.”
Shepard, who mentioned he probably could’ve returned to the field if the injury occurred closer to Week 1, scored his first career touchdown during opening week in Dallas last season, part of a 20-19 Giants win.
Shepard left Wednesday’s practice after rolling his ankle during a non-contact drill early in the session. Head coach Ben McAdoo described it as a “basketball-like” ankle injury. The second-year head coach expressed relief that Shepard’s MRI didn’t reveal the dire results the Giants were expecting.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. We take them all seriously and we look forward to getting him back when we can get him back,” McAdoo said. “Shep’s a good player. He had a tremendous offseason, he was having a good camp, and when he gets healthy and steps back in there, we’ll welcome him back.”
Shepard’s injury was not the only one discussed. Linebacker BJ Goodson was slightly hobbled after getting stepped on in yesterday’s practice but stated his foot was “great” and he was “enjoying” being back.
“(Antonio Pierce) has been helping me out a lot on being more of just a vocal leader and having to stand for the defense and being a strong leader. Be that guy that the rest of the defense has to look up to, especially when times get rough,” Goodson said. “I’ve been embracing that as well.”
In other injury news, Tavarres King (ankle) was held out, as was Keenan Robinson (concussion). In the walk-through session, several veterans were held out for rest purposes, including Eli Manning, Brandon Marshall, Damon Harrison and Jonathan Casillas.