If the New York Giants have hung their hat on anything this season it’s the stout play of their defense. However, with a short turn around that unit will be down at least two key starters come Thursday night.
Defensive back Adrian Colbert (shoulder) and linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring, placed on IR) join wideout C.J. Board among Giants to have been ruled out for Week 7’s NFC East bout against the Philadelphia Eagles, per Giants.com’s Dan Salomone. Rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes is currently questionable with a neck injury.
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Is Sterling Shepard Playing on Thursday?
UPDATE: Sterling Shepard is active and will play against the Philadelphia Eagles, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
While one wide receiver has been stripped from Daniel Jones’ arsenal, a far more crucial piece could be reinserted.
Sterling Shepard practiced on Tuesday after being designated for return from IR. The fifth-year pro hasn’t appeared in a game since suffering a turf toe injury against the Chicago Bears back in Week 2. The Giants have a 21-day period to add the former Oklahoma Sooner to their active roster. With that said, signs are pointing towards that scenario taking far less time.
North Jersey Media Group’s Art Stapleton has reported that he believes the Giants will move Shepard to the active roster by 4 p.m. today. From there, Shepard will go through pregame activities, where the team will gauge his readiness, in return determining the final verdict on his availability vs. the Eagles.
Daniel Jones: Sterling Sheard is a ‘Special Player’
While his status has yet to be cemented, it’s clear that quarterback Daniel Jones is giddy about the prospects of adding a “special player” such as Shepard back in the lineup.
“It would be great [to get him back],” Jones told reporters earlier this week. “He’s obviously a special player and can do a lot of different things. It would be great to have him back.”
Jones went on to praise Shepard for his savviness from the receiver position.
“I think his physical tools. He’s an extremely explosive guy, he’s good in and out of cuts,” Jones said. “I think he’s as good of a route runner as there is in the league with what he can do in getting open and then catching the ball. You can trust him to separate from guys. He’s a tough guy to cover one on one.”
Outlook on Loss of Colbert & Crowder
Adrian Colbert, Safety (Knee)
Colbert, a post-cut day addition, had supplanted opening day starter Julian Love on the backend of the Giants defense in recent weeks. However, Thursday will mark Colbert’s second consecutive game missed due to a lingering shoulder injury, at the very least opening the door for Love to reclaim the job.
Tae Crowder, Linebacker (Hamstring)
Crowder, of course, the hero from Big Blue’s Week 6 victory after returning a fumble 43 yards for a game-winning touchdown against Washington, will now miss the next three weeks, minimum. He is first eligible to return from IR in Week 10, which fittingly enough also happens to be against the Philadelphia Eagles. Expect a mixture of David Mayo and Cam Brown to try and fill Crowder’s void defensively.
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