Shepard Appearance Highlight of Jog-Through Session
It was a good thing no one carried on the theme of post-whistle tussles during the New York Giants’ Friday afternoon’s practice session. The helmets and shorts the players were clad in would’ve provided far too little protection compared to the pads they wore in this week’s scuffles.
Rather, the Giants breezed through several jog-through periods, staying on the field for just over an hour. Several veterans, including Eli Manning, Brandon Marshall, Damon Harrison and Jonathan Casillas, didn’t even put their helmets on, watching practice from the side, their heads covered in hats instead.
Despite his inactivity on the field, Manning still made his prescence felt. Head coach Ben McAdoo revealed that the long time Giants signal-caller called plays on the side. While McAdoo maintained that he’ll retake play-calling duties once the season starts, he wanted Manning to still have an impact on the field.
“We wanted to give him a chance to stay dialed in mentally, and get those mental reps,” McAdoo explained. “Eli used a little empathy today. He got to see how challenging it really is.”
Manning’s calls earned positive reviews from rookie QB Davis Webb.
“It was kind of fun to hear him on the headset today,” the Giants’ third-round pick said. “He did a good job.”
The biggest offensive impact came from the podium, not the field, as Sterling Shepard made his first public statements since departing Wednesday morning’s practice on the injury cart due to a an ankle injury. Shepard was not certain on an exact timetable for his return, but assured the masses he would be ready for September 10’s regular season opener “for sure”.
“Me being me, I want to get out there and start jogging around and running around right now, but (the doctors) don’t want me to push it,” Shepard said. They want me to get back to 100 percent.” Shepard also added that if the injury took place closer to opening week, he’d be able to “wrap it up and push through it and go”, but opted for the more patient approach since the injury occurred before the first preseason game.
Shepard also addressed media rumors that he was “in tears” after the injury. Asked if he was indeed crying, Shepard replied “not at all”.
“I was kind of screaming, but that’s just because I have never felt that pain before,” Shepard said. “But yeah, it’s just like a basketball roll is what they are saying, a little bit of a bone bruise.”
While Shepard may not have been crying, his mother Cheri was another story.
“I didn’t tell her anything,” Shepard said with a smile “I wasn’t going to tell her, but she saw it online or my agent called or something, so she was flipping out.”
LB BJ Goodson showed no ill effects of being stepped on in yesterday’s practice. Asked about it, Goodson confirmed he was stepped on, but also said his foot felt “great”.
WR Tavarres King (ankle) did not show up on the field.
LB Keenan Robinson remains in concussion protocol.
With Manning relegated to playcalling, Josh Johnson and Geno Smith continued to share second-team reps.
As part of a planned rest session for C Weston Richburg, Brett Jones got some snaps in.
Adam Gettis and Chad Wheeler also took first team snaps on the offensive line.
What He Said
“I think it was a little bit of over-exaggeration. I saw something online that said I was in tears coming off the field, which was pretty amazing because you guys were two fields over and I had on a mirror visor, so that definitely scared some people. It definitely scared my mother, but we are doing pretty good. It’s moving along pretty well right now.”
-WR Sterling Shepard on the rumors he was “in tears” after being carted off on Wednesday.
The Giants didn’t do too much, with the jog-through featuring many wrap-ups, love taps, and pump fakes. However, during the special teams period, the Giants ran a fake field goal, with holder Brad Wing firing a touchdown pass to G Justin Pugh. Pugh humorously demanded of the play via social media afterwards, though video was hard to provide, as the action took place on a far end of the field.
Fan Question of the Day
If Shep is out longer than expected, which WRs down the depth chart have looked good/what could you expect them to contribute in preseason?
— Joseph Calabrese (@JCalabrese1) August 4, 2017
Thanks for your question, Joe. While Shepard’s status isn’t as dire as originally envisioned, the battle for who will make the Giants’ opening day roster is still one of the more intriguing questions of camp. Obviously, if you include Shepard, the top three spots are spoken for, as Odell Beckham Jr. and Marshall reside there.
Thus far, Travis Rudolph is proving he’s more than just a great story, making some great plays and even showcasing his kick return prowess during camp. In addition, Darius Powe, who spent all of last season on the practice squad, has also been making a name for himself, making some great sideline grabs when Shepard when down on Wednesday.
King, arguably the Giants’ offensive MVP in their playoff cameo in January, was progressing well until his injury. Not everything is bliss elsewhere on the depth chart, however. Roger Lewis, still reeling from an offseason arrest, has yet to separate himself, while Kevin Snead, marketed as the “fastest player in college football” after running a 4.19 40 time during his pro day, muffed several punts during the week.