On Monday — again against the Cowboys — Shepard appeared to sustain another significant injury. On the final Giants snap of the game, Shepard pulled up on a route and clutched his left knee. He was not affected by the play. He fell to the ground in obvious pain and finally left the field on a cart.
The Giants did not provide a diagnosis later the 23-16 loss. But head coach Brian Daboll acknowledged that “it didn’t look good.” If it’s a season-ending injury, it marks another brutal blow for one of the franchise’s most beloved players.
Before his Achilles tear, Shepard’s 2020 campaign was limited to seven games due to injury. Now his return appears to be cut short just three games after he worked to be ready for Week 1. His contract expires after he agreed to void the final year of his contract.
Shepard has played his entire six-plus season career 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 around the league. As soon as he boarded the cart, players from both teams approached him to pay their respects.
After the game, Giants players talked about the injury and how much Shepard means to the team.
“It’s really hard to see that for sure,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. “A guy who works so hard, battling injury last year. I feel for him like a teammate, a close friend. Yeah, that’s hard to see.”
With a wide receiver Kenny Golladay told reporters that seeing Shepard go down “choked me up.”
“That’s my brother,” Golladay said. “I know what he did to get back to playing. He was ready Week 1. He just comes with a lot of energy on the sideline, in practice, through the meeting room.
“It hurt me when I saw him go down like that grabbing a knee. It still hurts – almost choked me a little bit to be completely honest. Just because I know – I grew a relationship with him, and I know how. how much he actually put in and how much he actually take care of it.”
Daboll, who just finished his third game as Giants coach, told reporters: “I just feel terrible for the guy.”
The Giants expect to know more about the injury Tuesday after testing.