Sterling Shepard has only been in action for the Giants in two games this year. After suffering a toe injury in the team’s Week 2 game against the Bears, he was placed on IR and has remained there since. Now at the midpoint of the fantasy football season, he may get a chance to suit up again in a Week 7 contest against the Eagles. Shepard hasn’t officially been activated from the IR yet, but he’s still thought to be “questionable” for Thursday Night Football, and his owners — or owners looking to scoop him off the waiver wire — will be eagerly awaiting updates on his status and they make their first start ’em, sit ’em calls of the week.
We’ll be here providing updates below about Shepard right up until the active/inactive report is released at around 6:50 p.m. ET on Thursday. For more fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
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Is Sterling Shepard playing Thursday night?
UPDATE 2: Shepard is officially ACTIVE for Thursday’s game.
UPDATE: According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Shepard has been activated off IR before tonight’s game. Now, his availability will come down to a pregame workout.
Shepard hasn’t played since suffering a toe injury in Week 2, but it did look like he was developing a strong rapport with Daniel Jones before the injury took place. Shepard saw 10 targets on 68 snaps before being hurt, and even though Golden Tate was inactive in Week 1 when Shepard had six targets, it seems likely Shepard will be a preferred option over Tate once he does return.
However, it’s still unclear when that will be. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Giants head coach Joe Judge said that Shepard’s Week 7 status could “come down to a pre-game workout.” It is a good sign that Shepard was designated to return from IR this week, but the Giants could still hypothetically activate him and let him sit out one more week as opposed to putting him in against the Eagles. They also could just leave him on IR until after Thursday night’s game and then activate him before Week 8.
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If Shepard does play against the Eagles, he will be an intriguing flex play given that the Eagles’ back seven isn’t very strong. Shepard could continue to be a volume receiver for a Giants offense that isn’t very good but will have to throw a good deal most weeks to try to stay in games.
WEEK 7 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Shepard’s presence wouldn’t necessarily represent a downgrade for Darius Slayton, the Giants’ No. 1 receiver, as he would still be Jones’ preferred outside receiver and top TD target, but it could be a downgrade for Tate and TE Evan Engram. Both Tate and Engram have been disappointments, and Shepard may be asked to work the middle of the field a bit more at their expense. That would be especially bad news for Engram’s productivity, so that will be something to watch.
If Shepard is declared active, he should have a chance to be a top-50 WR. That said, if you’re worried about Shepard’s workload, you can feel free to sit him one more week to see what he looks like, especially if you’re in a league that starts just two WRs and a flex.