New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is confident he’ll be good to go for the regular season despite fractured thumb.
During the first full-team training camp practice on July 25, New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard came away holding his left hand. He was eventually diagnosed with a fractured thumb and would be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
It’s been expected that Shepard will be good to go for Week 1, but not totally confirmed by the team. However, the veteran wideout is confident he’ll be ready for their opening game in Dallas on Sep. 8.
So confident that he’s “95 to 100 percent” convinced he’ll play, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Even though he’s wearing a yellow non-contact jersey in practice, Shepard still acts and plays like his normal self on the field. Still runs routes the same, catches the ball pretty much the same and runs through the defense the same. Almost as if he’s not even wearing the yellow jersey at all.
This two-hand reception aspect becomes a risk of injuring the thumb even more though, which would be a major setback for the Giants. Shepard is trying to prevent this from happening, reminding himself to only use one hand to catch the football for right now instead of two.
“If I hit it real hard, it reminds me that it’s broken,” he said. “But I try to catch it just with one hand and keep it at that. But instincts kick in from time to time.
“It’s pretty tough. You’re used to throwing two hands up. I’m not Odell [Beckham Jr.]. He naturally can throw up one hand. I don’t naturally do that so I have to hold myself back from time to time. But it’s a good way to work on my right hand, I guess.”
Shepard will be the Giants No. 1 receiver this year. Big Blue made it known that they wanted him in their future plans. They gave him a four-year, $41 million extension in April.
If he’s healthy for Week 1, Shepard will need to step up big time and become a dominant presence in the passing game. Receiver Corey Coleman is out for the year with a torn ACL, and it doesn’t seem like Golden Tate’s four-game suspension appeal will go his way. We still don’t know for sure right now with the latter though, as it isn’t confirmed yet.