Sterling Shepard
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard will “absolutely” be back from injury for their Week 1 game on Sept. 8.

In July, the New York Giants saw their No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard come away holding his left hand in practice. Doctors thereafter diagnosed Shepard with a fractured left thumb, as he would be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

There was some speculation whether or not Shepard would be ready for Big Blue’s Week 1 game in Dallas on Sept. 8. However, head coach Pat Shurmur‘s confident the veteran receiver will be ready to go.

“We believe so, yeah,” Shurmur said when asked about Shepard’s availability for that initial matchup, per ESPN. “Absolutely.”

Shepard originally started wearing the yellow non-contact jersey in practice but was still catching footballs. He recently ditched the yellow jersey, thus showing he’s made progress in his recovery.

Shepard signed a four-year, $41 million extension this past April. With Odell Beckham Jr. now a member of the Cleveland Browns, Shepard has a chance to be Eli Manning‘s top target this season.

The Giants will definitely need him when that time comes. They already have other setbacks at that position for the Week 1 game, so having Shepard will add firepower to the passing game.

Big Blue recently learned that Golden Tate had his four-game suspension appeal denied. Tate won’t return until their Oct. 6 game at home against the Minnesota Vikings. Receiver Corey Coleman, on the other hand, tore his ACL during a training camp practice in July. His season is over before it even really started.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.