In 2016, the New York giants finally found a great complimentary receiver to Odell Beckham Jr. with former Oklahoma Sooners standout and second-generation NFL star Sterling Shepard. However, the 2017 offseason has seen a couple of moves that indicate that Shepard will take a step back in his sophomore season in the NFL. The first move was the team signing Brandon Marshall, someone who will take a lot of targets away from Shepard instantly. The second was an injury that Sterling suffered in training camp.

Shepard’s injury

Sterling Shepard injured his ankle in practice on Wednesday and the New York Giants had him carted off the field as a precaution. According to Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, it looked like a sprained ankle, similar to what happens to basketball players. Sterling Shepard then posted something to Instagram and said that it seemed to be not quite as bad as it looked. That is good because the Giants are looking at Shepard to have a huge season in his second year.

In his rookie season, Sterling Shepard finished the year with 65 receptions for 683 yards and eight touchdowns, his reception numbers ranking No.

2 for all rookies. Shepard, the son of the late Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Derrick Shepard, was part of an offensive attack that helped lead the New York Giants back to the playoffs. Sterling has played in honor of his father his entire career. His dad died when Sterling was six-years-old and never had a chance to watch his son play.

Sterling will be ready for start of season

The good news is that Sterling Shepard did dodge a bullet. Steve Smith Sr. had an exclusive for NFL.com where he spoke to the New York Giants wide receiver about his injury and future.

Shepard said that he will be ready for the opening game of the season and that he will play in the preseason as well as long as his ankle continues to feel right. Shepard doesn’t need a boot and will be ready to play when called on.

With the arrival of Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard will continue in the role he played in 2016. Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to play the role of the No. 1 receiver while Marshall will line up on the opposite side of the field. Shepard will be the slot receiver for the New York Giants, which is where he did most his damage in 2016.

While Marshall should take a lot of catches away from Shepard, his skills will also open up the middle of the field more for Sterling, who might find more open space when Eli Manning targets him.

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