New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard escaped a potentially scary situation in practice this past Wednesday with a very lucky diagnosis: a low-ankle sprain and a bone bruise.
Shepard met with the media on Friday, without the walking boot he wore on Thursday, and without a significant limp. In what initially appeared to be a long-term injury based off of videos on social media, as well as reports from various journalists, Shepard is thanking his lucky stars that all tests came back clean and he got out of it with a minor injury.
“I have never rolled my ankle like that before and I felt it pop,” said Shepard, regarding his ankle roll while running a short route in practice. “That was the main thing that scared me. The initial pain wasn’t too good but now, we are moving along and it’s doing pretty good now.”
In terms of NFL players, a low-ankle sprain generally takes around one-to-three weeks to recover. Shepard wants to get on the field as soon as possible, but doctors have stressed to him that he can’t take things too quickly.
“They are taking it day by day as well,” said Shepard. “Me being me, I want to get out there and start jogging around and running around right now, but they don’t want me to push it. They want me to get back to 100 percent.”
Giants coaching staff knows how lucky Shepard is to only have an ankle sprain, and they won’t rush him back onto the field this preseason.
“Shep’s a good player,” said Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. “He had a tremendous offseason, he was having a good camp, and when he gets healthy and steps back in there, we’ll welcome him back.”
As McAdoo said, Shepard has impressed various coaches and members of the media of his performance in OTAs and Training Camp. Shepard knows how important this season is.
The Giants boast one of the most impressive offenses in the entire league. With the acquisition of Brandon Marshall to pair on the outside with Odell Beckham Jr, Shepard will see himself receive a lot of attention from quarterback Eli Manning. Opposing defenses will be keeping their main focus on Beckham and Marshall, which will work to Shepard’s benefit.
For now, Shepard will take it easy this preseason, but he has one goal in mind. That goal is to stand on the line of scrimmage on Opening Week against the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium.
“Yeah, of course,” said Shepard. “I will be ready for Week 1, for sure.”