Giants’ Daboll on Shepard: ‘It kind of looked like a freaky accident there’

The New York Giants(2-1) suffered their first loss of the season on Monday night as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 23-16 at MetLife Stadium, and unfortunately, they lost a key piece on offense.

On Tuesday, Giants head coach Brian Daboll announced that WR Sterling Shepard would miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL.

Shepard, who is coming off a torn Achilles last season, injured his ACL late in the game against the Cowboys.

“ACL. Got that news just about 15 minutes ago in the doctors’ meeting,” Daboll said. “And again, to reiterate what I said yesterday, he’s a tremendous person. He worked so diligently to get back, and (I) feel terrible for him that he had that injury. He’s a big part of our team, and we’ll miss him out on the field.

It was a non-contact injury, and it appeared that Shepard was jogging along when it happened. According to Daboll, it was a “freak accident.”

“He’s just slowing down,” Daboll said. “It could have happened; I’m not saying it happened; you see a couple of plays before where he turns when he’s running an in-cut, and he’s extended. He went out there on the next play and did something. Again, it kind of looked like a freaky accident there.”

It was a big blow for Shepard, who put in the work to get back on the field and a big blow for the Giants as they’ve battled injuries at the wide receiver position(Wan’Dale Robinson, Kadarius Toney). 

Neal struggles

Giants rookie RT Evan Neal struggled to block Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence, who had three of Dallas’ five sacks. Despite the struggles, Daboll is not worried about Neal.  

“We just keep on building the technique,” Daboll said. “There’s growing pains. I would say it’s not just Ev (Evan Neal), which he got beat a couple times on the edge by a pretty good player. There was a lot of things we could have done better. And protection-wise, after going through it, whether it’s the chips, the (running) backs, one-one-ones against the blitzers, the inside movement, the games inside. There was quite a bit of things. But Evan’s a diligent guy. We’ll work on improving him and try to be better next week.

New York will have a short week as the Bears(2-1) come to town on Sunday.

Giants’ Shepard is hoping to be ready for team’s season-opener

On December 19, 2021, Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s season ended after he tore his Achilles tendon against the Cowboys. From there, he had surgery and began rehabbing to get back on the field.

At the start of training camp, the 29-year-old was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, which limited him to rehabilitating and running routes on a side field away from his teammates.

After weeks of waiting, Shepard finally got out on the practice field with his teammates as he was activated from the PUP list and practiced with the Giants for the first time on Wednesday.

The seven-year veteran, who has not put on pads since the injury, says he’s taking things “day-by-day.”

“Obviously, this is my first day back, and it was a full pad practice,” he said. “I haven’t had on pads since I got hurt. So, it was kind of tough being thrown in the fire with the pads on, but I just have taken it day-by-day, limited kind of in some of the team reps; they’re throwing me in slowly. But I’ll work my way up and get my conditioning and my wind up. I’ve been playing this game since I was six years old, so kind of know what it looks like.”

The season opener is a little over two weeks away for the Giants, and while Shepard is unsure if he will be on the field on September 11 against the Titans, he’s striving to make it happen.

“I’m not sure,” Shepard said about playing Week 1. “That’s a question you have to ask Ronnie(Barnes//Head Athletic Trainer), but that’s what I’m pushing for. That’s what I’ve worked my tail off for, so I’m hoping that’s the case. I just have to keep doing my thing day-by-day, and we’ll see what happens.”

Collin Johnson to IR:

-Shepard is back from an Achilles injury, but another Giant goes on IR due to an Achilles injury. Wide receiver Collin Johnson tore his Achilles tendon in practice this afternoon. Johnson was placed on injured reserve along with fellow wideout Marcus Kemp, who has a hamstring injury.

-In addition, the Giants terminated the contracts of tight end Jordan Akins and wide receiver Robert Foster (hamstring). Foster, who received an injury settlement from the team, was placed on injured reserve last Friday.

-The Giants were awarded three players off waivers, cornerback Harrison Hand(Vikings) and wide receivers Jaylon Moore(Ravens) and Bailey Gaither(Ravens).

Giants place Shepard, Gates, Peart on PUP list, put Ojulari on reserve/non-football injury

The Giants placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard (Achilles tendon), center Nick Gates (leg), and tackle Matt Peart (knee) on the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the team announced Tuesday.

In addition, linebacker Azeez Ojulari was put on the reserve/non-football injury (NFI) list with a hamstring injury.

All four players remain part of the 90-man roster and can be activated at any time.

Shepard, the seven-year pro who is the Giants’ longest-tenured player, tore his Achilles in a game against Dallas on Dec. 19. He underwent surgery and rehabbed the injury throughout the offseason.

Gates, a five-year veteran, suffered a fractured leg in his first career start at left guard on Sept. 16 in Washington. He subsequently underwent numerous operations and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve. Gates had started 19 consecutive games, including 17 at center.

Peart, a third-year pro, tore his ACL in Philadelphia on December 26, early in a game in which he started at left tackle.

In his first two seasons, Peart played in 26 games with five starts, including four at left tackle.

Ojulari, the Giants’ second-round draft choice last year, led the team with a franchise rookie-record 8.0 sacks in 2021. He played in all 17 games, starting 13.

Giants’ Judge: ‘You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers’

For the fifth straight season, the New York Giants(4-10) have lost 10 or more games as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 21-6 at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

With the loss, the Giants have lost three straight and four out of their last five.

The Cowboys(10-4) forced four turnovers, which led to 15 points.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s obviously something we preach and work on consistently. We’ve got to make sure that we eliminate the turnovers. Too many penalties today. Obviously, a lot of things we have to improve on as a team. The focus and the goal is the same as it always is; make adjustments now, come back in and be a better team than we were today to have success this week.”

Giants QB Mike Glennon was not very good Sunday. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 99 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. Ultimately, he would get pulled in the fourth quarter.

Judge explained why he pulled Glennon and went with Jake Fromm.

“We got to a point in the game where I wanted to see what Jake(Fromm) could do, point blank,” Judge said. “We weren’t doing enough moving the ball otherwise, so I wanted to make sure I had the chance to see Jake, and that will obviously open up a conversation about what we’re going to do this week. We’ll talk about it as a staff, and we’ll make the best decision for the team.”

Fromm, who made his NFL debut Sunday, gave New York a spark, and if Jones is still out, the New York should probably go with Fromm. 

The Giants got more bad news on the injury front as they lost wideout Sterling Shepard to a torn Achilles late in the fourth. Saquon Barkley, who finished with 50 yards rushing Sunday but lost a fumble, discussed Shepard’s injury.

“It’s definitely tough,” Barkley said. “He’s a spark to this team; he’s a leader of this team. Just the energy that he brings every single day on the field and off the field. Anytime you see a guy go down, it’s a sad thing. One thing I know about Shep, he’s a fighter, so it’s a setback, but I know he’s going to attack this rehab.”

Next week, New York heads to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles. 

 

 

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Shepard: ‘I feel like we can go down there and get a win with Daniel(Jones) as quarterback’

Sterling Shepard missed just one game, but so much changed with the Giants while he was sidelined. He will return to the field Sunday at Tampa Bay with a new starting quarterback, Daniel Jones, who has replaced Eli Manning.

“It was different for me at first,” said Shepard who did not play last week against Buffalo because he was in the NFL concussion protocol. “I’ve been with Eli for three seasons now, and the beginning of the fourth, too. He has taught me a lot throughout my career, he’s been a great teammate and he’s going to remain a great teammate. The guy handles everything like a pro. He’s helping Daniel with preparation, and he’ll take his role serious and do everything to help Daniel out.”

So will Shepard, the Giants’ longest-tenured wide receiver.

“I’m just trying to help him in any way that I can,” Shepard said. “It’s his first time being out there in live game action, (and) it’s my first time out there with him. So, that’s where the week of preparation comes into play. You have to be able to be on the same page with him, and just calm his nerves a little bit.”

Like everyone else in the locker room, Shepard has enormous respect for Manning. But the Giants are 0-2 and badly need a victory. Time marches on in the NFL and it’s now Jones’ turn to lead the team.

“It’s nothing against Eli, he played great,” Shepard said. “Honestly, I feel like we could have played better for him. But I wouldn’t call it that either. I don’t think that’s the situation.

“I feel like we can go down there and get a win with Daniel as quarterback. That’s the move that we made, and that’s what it is.”

Although Shurmur has said the offense will look largely the same with Jones at the helm, Shepard sees two differences emerging. The first is when Jones throws him the ball.

“He has a little more zip on the ball,” Shepard said. “It’s still a catchable ball, a great ball, but it’s different. You have two different quarterbacks, two different people. They are not going to have the same ball.”

And it’s no secret that the 22-year-old Jones has the ability to burn a defense with his rushing ability, which has never been Manning’s strength. The phrase commonly used now is RPO, for run pass option, which the Giants can now deploy.

“It’s a different style of play (between) he and Eli,” Shepard said. “He has the ability to use his feet a lot more and you’ve got a lot of RPOs going on

“That’s what I was used to in college being out there with Baker (Mayfield) and a lot of other quarterbacks that I had. It was just the scramble. You kind of have to go over those again and be ready for that on Sunday.”

*Only two players appear on the Giants’ final injury report of the week, both wide receivers. Cody Latimer has been declared out of the game at Tampa Bay because he is in the NFL concussion protocol and Bennie Fowler is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Buccaneers standout rookie linebacker Devin White, chosen one pick ahead of Jones in the draft, will not play because of a knee injury he suffered last week at Carolina.

Courtesy: Michael Eisen