It suddenly appears the Giants could be going into their home opener Sunday against the Bills at MetLife Stadium without their top receiver. Sterling Shepard is being tested for a possible concussion, an ominous sign for a team coming off a blowout loss to the Cowboys.
Shepard was targeted seven times and came away with six receptions for 42 yards, while playing 68 of the 69 offensive snaps, in the 35-17 loss at AT&T Stadium. A day later, head coach Pat Shurmur said, “Sterling Shepard may be dealing with a concussion.’’
Asked to clarify, Shurmur said, “He’s getting tested. He has to go through some of the testing. It appears he might be in the protocol here. Each guy is different, as you know. We’ll just have to see how it goes.’’
Shepard cannot be adequately replaced in a Giants offense already operating without starting receiver Golden Tate, who is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. That absence forced Cody Latimer into the starting lineup and made Shepard the top priority for defenses to stop.
If Shepard is unable to play against the Bills, the attack directed by Eli Manning takes a huge hit. Bennie Fowler likely elevates into a starting role and what depth the Giants have at the position gets that much more depleted.
Another starter on offense, right guard Kevin Zeitler, came out of the game with what Shurmur described as “a little shoulder deal we’re getting more information on. We don’t think it will be long-term and it may be not much at all. He’s fine, though. In my mind he is.’’
Zeitler left the locker room Sunday with his left shoulder wrapped.
In addition, outside linebacker Kareem Martin was forced out of the game with a sprained knee.
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