Sterling Shepard’s 2021 season ended early when he tore his left Achilles tendon in a December game against the Dallas Cowboys.
On Monday – again against the Cowboys – Shepard appeared to have another significant injury. On the final Giants snap of the game, Shepard stopped on a route and grabbed his left knee. He was not affected by the piece. He fell to the ground in obvious pain and eventually left the field on a cart.
The Giants gave no diagnosis after the 23-16 loss. But head coach Brian Daboll acknowledged that “it didn’t look good.” If it’s an injury that ends at the end of the season, it means another brutal blow to one of the franchise’s most beloved players.
Prior to his Achilles tendon, Shepard’s 2020 campaign was limited to seven games due to injury. Now his comeback appears to have been cut short in just three games after he worked to be ready for week 1. His contract is set to expire after he agreed to void the final year of his contract.
Shepard’s played his entire career spanning more than six seasons in New York since the Giants selected him in the second round of the 2016 draft. He’s been there long enough to have actually played in a playoff game in a Giants uniform. He is admired throughout the competition. As soon as he got on the cart, players from both teams came up to him to pay their respects.
After the game, the Giants players talked about the injury and how much Shepard means to the team.
“It’s just really hard to see that for sure,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. “A man who works so hard, who fought back from injury last year. I feel for him as a team-mate, a good friend. Yes, that’s hard to see.”
Fellow recipient Kenny Golladay told reporters that seeing Shepard go down “suffocated me.”
“That’s my brother,” Golladay said. “I know what he did to be able to play again. He was ready in week 1. He just comes with a lot of energy from the sidelines, in practice, all over the conference room.
“It hurt me to see him go down like that as he grabbed a knee. It still hurts – it almost choked me a bit to be completely honest. Just because I know – I’m in a relationship with him and I know how much he actually put into it and how much he really cares.”
Left tackle Andrew Thomas called the injury “heartbreaking.”
Daboll, who has just completed his third game as Giants coach, told reporters, “I just feel terrible for the man.”
The Giants expect to know more about the injury after testing on Tuesday.
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