Is Sterling Shepard’s NFL Career in Limbo? Giants Rule Out Two Star Players for Week 10

Getty Sterling Shepard of the New York Giants

The New York Giants offense has seen their share of struggles of these past few weeks. Many will likely point the finger at rookie quarterback Daniel Jones as the main catalyst of the offensive miscues. While he’s certainly enduring some rookie growing pains, the major issue for the Giants offense, as well as the development of Jones as an NFL signal-caller, is the fact that the team has been short-handed of offensive playmakers for the majority of the season.

Week 10 will be no different, as the Giants have ruled out arguably their two most lethal pass catchers for Sunday’s showdown with the inner-state rival Jets.

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Evan Engram Ruled OUT vs. New York Jets

Giants tight end and leading receiver Evan Engram will not be suiting up for the team in Week 10. Engram is currently dealing with a foot injury that he suffered in last week’s Monday night game.

The loss of Engram on Sunday is arguably the biggest blow possible for a Giants offense who has struggled to push the ball down the field for the majority of the 2019 season. Engram, one of the league’s biggest mismatches in all of football, leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and most importantly, receiving touchdowns.

Engram would have likely feasted on a putrid New York Jets secondary this weekend. The Jets rank 24th in passing yards allowed this season and are coming off a horrendous showing in Week 9, where they allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to tap into his bag of magic for the first time this year, torching Gang Green for three touchdowns. Most notably, Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki led all pass catchers on either side of the ball with 95 receiving yards.

While the loss of Engram is devastating for a Giants team trying to hold onto what little playoff hopes they have left, the news is not all bad on the injury front.

Engram has a great chance of returning to the team’s lineup following a Week 11 bye, as he has seemingly avoided major injury, which is more than can be said for a fellow Giants pass-catcher.

Are Sterling Shepard’s Days in the NFL Coming to an End?

Sterling Shepard will miss his fifth consecutive game, and his sixth of the season, this coming weekend, as the Giants have ruled out their slot-maven receiver on Friday.

Shepard, who suffered his second concussion of the season back in Week 5, is still in concussion protocol, and many fans and people around the organization are growing more and more concerned that his days in the NFL could be numbered.

Shepard seemed primed to make his return to the Giants lineup this past Monday. The wideout had spoken aloud to the media, openly expressing his displeasure for being held out in recent weeks despite his belief that he was ready to play.

However, leading into the weekend ahead of Week 9, Shepard began to once again suffer concussion-like symptoms, causing the G-Men to place their star wideout back in concussion protocol.

This past Wednesday, the Giants sent Shepard to Pittsburgh to meet with a concussion specialist. That meeting, along with the prolonged state of this injury, has reportedly led the organization to a near-consensus that the wideout should be shut down for the remainder of the season.

This is what head coach Pat Shurmur had to say when asked about Shepard’s status moving forward.

“This is a serious injury, and in my mind, it requires a serious response…I think we have to use good judgement and we need to be very deliberate about guys coming back from injuries such as this. At some point, we just have to use our gut.”

Shurmur is not alone, as many teammates share the same sentiment. Receiver Golden Tate was quoted as stating…

“Selfishly, we all want him out there, because we’re a better team with him out there, but as a family man with kids, I think it’s way bigger than football. You’ve got to kind of be selfish when it comes to your head, neck and brain, I believe.”

A final decision on Shepard’s playing status for the final duration of the 2019 regular season is likely far away, and weighs heavily (whether right or wrong) on if the Giants can rally off a few victories over the next handful of weeks.

Yet, there’s no doubting the growing likelihood that Shepard could be done playing football for this season, and possibly so on.

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