When Sterling Shepard, the wide receiver for the New York Giants, suffered a torn ACL last year during a Week 3 defeat against the Dallas Cowboys, many observers believed that his time in a Giants uniform had come to an end.
However, it appears those assumptions were premature.
Sterling Shepard Participated only 10 Games
Despite his limited participation in only 10 games following the conclusion of the 2020 season due to several injuries, Sterling Shepard has made a triumphant return to the Giants this season, displaying no signs of rust.
Both Joe Schoen, the general manager of the Giants, and head coach Brian Daboll expressed their desire to retain Shepard during the offseason, leading to his re-signing for a one-year contract.
Schoen even openly acknowledged Shepard’s status as one of his favorite players of all time. He commended Shepard’s positive outlook and his ability to boost team morale, even when navigating the challenges of crutches.
Throughout this year’s training camp, Shepard, now fully healed, has showcased impressive performance in the drills that he has taken part in. Despite the substantial depth of talent among the receivers, particularly in the slot position, Shepard has demonstrated unwavering determination to maintain his place on the depth chart.
In a recent news conference, Daboll stressed the need for Shepard to switch to a more rigorous training schedule as he prepares for his comeback.
“We’re looking forward to having him on the field for some live action. It’s a different experience when you’re in the actual game situation and getting hit. He’s going to have a rest day (Wednesday), and after practice, we’ll evaluate how he’s feeling and how his rehab plan is progressing before making any decisions,” Daboll explained.
Despite the adjusted training schedule tailored for Shepard, his enthusiasm and eagerness to reclaim his place on the field without limitations remain undiminished.
Daboll noted, “He consistently lobbies to participate in practice. But it’s our responsibility to manage his workload carefully. He’s come back from a series of injuries with a strong mindset and competitive spirit, and our training staff has skillfully guided his rehabilitation process.”
Concerns about Shepard seeking opportunities elsewhere are unwarranted, as he fully embodies the philosophy of “Once a Giant, always a Giant.”
“I’m committed to staying here. The idea of playing for another team doesn’t appeal to me. My goal is to retire as a Giant. So yes, I wouldn’t consider playing anywhere else. I have a burning desire to play, and though it’s a tough question, because I believe I still have more to offer, and this is what I’m truly passionate about. Fortunately, I haven’t had to make that choice yet. I hope I never find myself in that position. Every time I step onto that field, I give my all to this team,” Shepard affirmed to the New York Post.
Shepard has faced a string of injuries over the years, but he possesses considerable untapped potential. The Giants recognize this, and with proper management, he can contribute to the team’s success both on and off the field. This pursuit has been Shepard’s aspiration ever since his selection in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft.
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Throughout the initial five seasons of his career, Sterling Shepard established himself as a reliable contributor. At the age of 30, he has been given another chance to follow his goal. And it appears that he will succeed in realizing his desire.