The Giants have officially opened the 21-day window on receiver Sterling Shepard, who has been on injured reserve since suffering turf toe in the Week 2 loss against the Bears.
Shepard has eight receptions for 76 yards so far this season before being shut down due to his injury.
Despite the Giants being woefully thin at receiver--they will be without C.J. Board (concussion) while Darius Slayton (foot) figures to be listed as questionable for Thursday night--Shepard's return in time for Thursday night's game is not set in stone as it will depend on if he continues to progress.
On the surface, it doesn't make sense to rush Shepard back into the lineup even though he's made significant progress this week.
The Giants will get an 11-day break in between games after they play the Eagles, which will give Shepard additional time to ensure he's fully over his injury.
In the interim, the odds favor the Giants calling up a receiver from their practice squad to fill in the gaps. Alex Bachman is a guy to keep an eye on as a possibility regardless of what happens with Shepard.
But if Shepard's ready, Joe Judge won't hesitate to get him involved in the offense.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL modified its injured reserve rules to allow for an unlimited number of players to be designated for return (it was previously three, having been raised in the new CBA from the limit of two).
Thus far, the Giants have activated inside linebacker David Mayo from injured reserve, doing so last week.