EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered what is believed to be a serious injury to his left knee, multiple sources told ESPN after Shepard underwent initial testing after Monday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The non-contact injury happened in the final minutes of New York’s 23-16 loss to Dallas. A definitive diagnosis will come Tuesday morning when Shepard undergoes further tests, but fears his season is over.
Shepard, who was released to practice late in the summer after tearing his right Achilles tendon last December, leads the Giants with 154 yards receiving in three games. He also played the most snaps (157) of any receiver on the team.
“It’s tough. It’s a tough sport,” said coach Brian Daboll. “Guys work their butts to recover from injuries. If he’s out all season, that’s something we’ll likely know [Tuesday] Tomorrow… You hurt these guys because you watch them in the rehab room, you watch them off-season. It’s just a shame.”
Shepard, 29, had taken on a heavy workload earlier this season. As a result, he received a maintenance day on Wednesday.
The injury came during the Giants’ last offensive game Monday night when Shepard was jogging near the right touchline. He hobbled onto the wagon and players from both teams came over to give him words of encouragement.
“It’s tough. I’m not even going to lie. It’s hard not to choke on it,” Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton said upon seeing the injury. “He’s been here since the first day I was drafted. As a young man he did a lot for me, definitely hard to see.”
The play resulted in an essentially game-ending interception. At the moment it hardly mattered.
Shepard lay on the floor, writhing in pain.
“It’s tough,” said running back Saquon Barkley, one of Shepard’s best friends on the team. “I would say I’m one of the biggest contenders but when I saw Shep down I was like, ‘What the hell happened?’ Obviously I was aware it was a pickaxe but at that moment you see him on the ground I didn’t even want to go there I dropped down said a short prayer and… it’s tough he’s got a lot gone through from injuries lately it’s difficult to come back and fight like he did from an Achilles and going down in a game like this is a difficult way to end an emotional game.
The Giants (2-1) lost to their division rivals for the first time this season and 10th time in 11 tries.
Shepard was there for a good chunk of those losses. He is the longest-serving Giants player. He has been on the team since he was selected by the University of Oklahoma in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The veteran wide receiver took a pay cut this offseason to stay in the area and with the Giants. This is the latest blow to a career that has spiraled out of control in recent years.
“I hate seeing that for him,” said quarterback Daniel Jones. “Nobody deserves this, but certainly not him.
Shepard has consistently produced for the Giants. The problem is that he couldn’t stay on the field.
This will likely mark the fourth straight year that he has missed at least four games due to injuries. He has dealt with Achilles, quad, hamstring, toe and concussion injuries over the past few years. Now it’s his knee.
“I just feel terrible for the guy,” Daboll said.
But Shepard was able to recover from the Achilles injury in just over eight months. He looked good in practice in late summer and returned to action in the season opener against Tennessee on September 11th. In that contest, he caught a 65-yard touchdown.
Shepard has 362 career catches for 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34673836/sources-initial-tests-reveal-serious-knee-injury-new-york-giants-wr-sterling-shepard Initial tests reveal serious knee injury to New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard