Giants WR Shepard (thumb) back at full practice

Field Level Media

August 19, 2019 at 6:52 pm.

Sterling Shepard, expected to emerge as the New York Giants No. 1 receiver, is back to full practice after breaking his left thumb at the opening of training camp, and all signs point to him being on the field in Week 1.

The Giants open the season on Sept. 8 on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.

Over the weekend, Shepard practiced without restrictions and didn’t need to wear the yellow, non-contract jersey.

“It’s actually healed up pretty fast and … I’m feeling good,” Shepard told the New York Post. “I wouldn’t say I’m all the way back, but I’m pretty close. I’m where I need to be. I feel good about that.”

He is still wearing a splint but said he expects to play against the Cowboys.

After trading Odell Beckham Jr. and acquiring veteran Golden Tate, the Giants expected to have a good one-two punch with Tate and Shepard. But with Tate suspended the first four weeks of the season for a violation of the league’s rules on performance-enhancing drugs, Shepard’s rapid recovery is just the good news the Giants need.

“He’s been cleared all along to be out here. It’s just the next step in the process. He’s fine,” head coach Pat Shurmur said.

Shepard, who had career-high totals of 66 receptions and 872 yards last season, signed a four-year, $41 million deal in April. He has 190 catches for 2,286 yards and 14 touchdown receptions in 43 games (42 starts) for the Giants.