The receiving corps could also get a boost from the NFL debut of fifth-round pick Darius Slayton, who has been battling a hamstring issue for two months now.
Neither Shepard nor Slayton were on the Giants’ final injury report on Friday. Wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion) is out and wide receiver Bennie Fowler, who leads the team’s wide receivers thus far with 10 receptions, is questionable with a hamstring.
The return of Shepard to the lineup should be comforting for rookie Daniel Jones as he makes his first NFL start. Shepard had 66 catches a season ago.
“It’s great,” wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said on Friday. “Anytime you can add another playmaker, a dynamic playmaker like Shep, to get back out there for us, it’s going to help us. We’re excited to have him back.”
Slayton brings field-stretching ability no other Giants receiver possesses.
“He’s out there running around pretty well right now. We’re excited to get him back and see if he’s ready to go on Sunday,” Tolbert said. “He has a dimension in our room, on our team, that really no one else has and that’s that speed. If you line up our entire team on the goal line and tell them to run a race, Slayton will probably win 10 out of 10 times. He has that speed, that dimension, that we’ve been missing. Hopefully we can get him back as quickly as possible and get him in the game so he can make some big plays for us.”
Guard Kevin Zeitler, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue, is not on the injury report.