Golden Tate, Darius Slayton
Elsa/Getty Images

New York Giants veteran Golden Tate praises rookie Darius Slayton and shows confidence in his ability to step up.

The New York Giants head into Thursday night’s Week 6 game against the New England Patriots shorthanded at the wideout position. Top receiver Sterling Shepard will sit out with a concussion. It’s the second time Shepard has entered the concussion protocol this season. Therefore he’ll be out for “a while,” per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

That means Golden Tate and rookie Darius Slayton will each slide up one spot on the depth chart against New England. Slayton has shown potential in the three games he’s played in thus far. The Auburn University product has caught nine balls for 157 yards and a touchdown. The Giants are hoping he’ll be a productive target for Daniel Jones for years to come, and Tate believes the rookie is already on his way.

“I think [Slayton’s] getting better each and every week,” Tate said, per Schwartz. “We have a lot of confidence in him being in early, late in the game when things need to happen. He’s impressed me for sure and we want him to keep being him. We brought him here to make plays and to use that speed. If he keeps doing that I think he’s going to play in this league for a long time.”

Slayton was on the receiving end of a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jones in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to Minnesota. It was the first of what could be many touchdown receptions in his career.

Will he get the chance to receive his second on Thursday night? It’ll surely be a difficult task. The Patriots defense has yet to allow a touchdown pass this season.

Follow Ryan on TWITTER

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