INJURY REPORT | Sterling Shepard Cleared to Play Sunday

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Patricia Traina

Giants receiver Sterling Shepard was cleared from the league’s protocol Friday afternoon and, barring any setbacks, is on track to return to his first game action Sunday since he suffered his second concussion of the year back in a Week 5 loss to the Vikings.

Shepard had initially been cleared to return for the Dallas game three weeks ago, but less than 48 hours before that game, he was not feeling well and, after being sent for examination, he was placed back int he protocol, which caused him to miss the games against the Cowboys and Jets.

With Shepard cleared to return, head coach Pat Shurmur was asked if there might be any apprehension in putting the receiver out there.

“It’s a good question,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “You don’t want it (a concussion) to happen again. But based on how he’s trained and everything to this point, there’s nothing for us to say he won’t clear and be ready to play. At some point, you just have to trust it and then deal with it if it doesn’t work out.”

Shepard suffered a concussion Week 1 against the Cowboys, which had initially gone undetected by spotters. He missed the Week 2 game against the Bills but returned the week after that.

He then was dinged again against the Vikings but was removed from that game for evaluation before being cleared to return.  

In other injury news, left tackle Nate Solder and cornerback Janoris Jenkins were also cleared from the protocol Friday. Solder and Jenkins both suffered their respective concussions in the Week 10 loss to the Jets.

However, the Giants will be without tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion). Engram will miss his second game with a sprained foot while Ellison will miss his first after suffering his concussion against the Jets.  

Rookie Kaden Smith and veteran Scott Simonson, two players who were not on the Giants’ initial 53-man roster, will be the starting tight ends Sunday when New York visits the Chicago Bears.