Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard ‘very optimistic’ he’ll play on Sunday

Sterling Shepard close up

Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard has missed the last five weeks due to a quad injury that “just kept lingering” according to the five-year veteran. But Giants fans might finally be seeing Shepard on the field once again this Sunday when New York takes on the Los Angeles Chargers in a coast-to-coast matchup.

Out since Week 9, Shepard told reporters on Thursday that he’s “very optimistic” that he’ll be able to suit up on Sunday with his fellow teammates.

“I mean I’m still listening to the trainers,” Shepard said. “I’ve got to go back in today and they want to see how I feel tomorrow, but I’m very optimistic that I’ll be able to be out there this week with the guys and hopefully that’s the case.”

Going into the season, the Giants receiving corps was supposed to have been a strength, not a weakness. They signed Kenny Golladay to a lucrative, long-term deal and drafted Kadarius Toney with their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to go along with receivers like Shepard, Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram.

But with Week 14 closely on the horizon, the Giants, at 4-8, have had one of the worst receiving units, statistically, in the league.

Their 11 touchdowns through the air rank them third to last, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears.

The Giants ineptitude at throwing and catching the ball came to a head last Sunday when they traveled to Miami to take on the Dolphins with backup QB Mike Glennon, in for injured starter Daniel Jones, having a rough day and the team scoring just nine points on three field goals.

So getting Shepard, an explosive and proven player, back in the mix could be the shot in the arm the team so desperately needs, even with their playoff hopes all but dead.

“You always want to put good tape out there no matter what,” Shepard said. “…Plus, we’ve got guys that we’re playing for. You’re going to play for the brother…

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