Oct 072019
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

Due to the short week before Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots, the New York Giants held a walk-thru practice today. Monday’s injury report is an estimation of player status had there been a full practice.

Running back Wayne Gallman (concussion), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), and tight end Evan Engram (knee) did not practice.

According to media reports, Shepard is expected to miss “considerable time” given that this is his second concussion this season. “He’s in the protocol, we’ll try to get him back,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’ll be back on the field when they say it’s time.”

As for Engram, Shurmur said, “Just a little game soreness. We’ll just see how he does as the week progresses.”

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), left tackle Nate Solder (ankle), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (neck), linebacker Alec Ogletree (hamstring), and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa (knee) were limited.

Linebacker Tae Davis (concussion) fully practiced.

New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 28-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings (the video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What happened yesterday between Sterling (Shepard) getting checked and going back into the game without a concussion, and then showing up this morning with the symptoms?
A: I couldn’t tell you that. He went back in the game and then he came in this morning and had some symptoms— which is not atypical of some of these concussions.

Q: How troubling is it that that’s two now in a short period?
A: Well we’re just going to have to (see). He’s in the protocol, we’ll try to get him back. He’ll be back on the field when they say it’s time.

Q: Do you know of a history for him or anything where you would have to keep an extra close eye on him at this point?
A: Not really, aside from the fact that this is his second one in a short period of time.

Q: Why didn’t he play that final drive?
A: We were just rotating guys in. It wasn’t because of this.

Q: How much more of an emphasis will getting the ball to Golden Tate be with Sterling (Shepard) out?
A: We were trying at times to get him the ball the other night. Obviously, there will be more opportunities for Golden this week.

Q: What’s going on with Evan Engram’s knee?
A: Just a little game soreness. We’ll just see how he does as the week progresses.

Q: Do you anticipate he’ll be practicing tomorrow?
A: We’ll see, we’ll see. I don’t know that.

Q: With a short week, how concerning is this fairly considerable list of injuries?
A: It’s something that you have to deal with. Every team has to deal with one of those short weeks. We’ll do the very best we can to get as many players back as quickly as possible so that they are able to play Thursday.

Q: How much does this short week hurt Saquon (Barkley)? It doesn’t give him a lot of time to get ready.
A: I don’t know if it hurts him or helps him.

Q: It can’t help him, can it?
A: Obviously not. Time is your friend when you’re coming back from an injury.

Q: How is he doing?
A: He’s doing great.

Q: Will you have to add a (running) back if he’s not available and with Gallman in the concussion protocol?
A: We might look at doing something like that, yeah.

Q: How close do you view him at this point?
A: Saquon? He’s getting much closer. Closer than where he was last week.

Q: How close was he last week?
A: Well, you asked me that. He was closer than he was the week before, I guess. I don’t know what to tell you.

Q: Will you have to add a wide receiver with Shep (Sterling Shepard) being out for a little bit?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see what happens. We are a little up against it here with the short week, so we’ll just have to see how it works out.

Q: But you have, obviously, Bennie (Fowler) and TJ Jones, two guys who know your playbook.
A: Yeah, so we’ll just have to see if that’s a move we’re going to make. If not, we’ve got four healthy receivers at this point.

Q: Could Saquon play Thursday?
A: There’s a possibility.

Q: As far as your linebackers— Tree (Alec Ogletree) and then Tae Davis looked like he was back full today. Can we expect some of them back?
A: Yes, we are hopeful that they’ll be back. They’ve made good progress coming back from their injuries, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: With such a short week, what’s the most challenging part about fleshing out the Vikings and just focusing on the Patriots?
A: Well, we already fleshed out the Vikings. Today was like a Wednesday practice. The coaches had things prepared and ready to go. We were out here basically in teach tempo, and did what we would do on a Wednesday.

Q: The Patriots’ defense almost looks like fantasy numbers, they don’t give up anything— they lead the league in basically everything. What do you see when you look at them right now?
A: I see that. They are an outstanding defense just like the one we played this past week, and just like a few of the defenses we played prior to this past week. We’ve got to do what we can to move the ball and score points. It’s always a challenge in this league, you’re always playing against really good defenses. This is another top defense, so we have to be about our business. We have to make plays when they’re presented, and we have to do a good job of staying on schedule.

Q: Would you consider giving Julian Love some reps at free safety if (Antoine) Bethea doesn’t play better?
A: He’s getting reps right now.

Q: I meant in a game.
A: We’ll have to see.

Q: What do you need to see from Saquon in tomorrow’s practice to not play him?
A: I don’t know. I’ll have to tell you that after tomorrow, we’ll see.

Q: You were pretty transparent a couple weeks ago about Janoris Jenkins. You had a conversation with him after he said something about the defense. Did you address Golden Tate’s comments from yesterday?
A: I think those were taken a little bit out of context. I don’t think he was being critical. He was out there, he had a role, and of course when you ask a receiver what he thinks about getting the ball, they are going to want it. He’s a very positive guy and a great influence on the team. I don’t think there’s anything to it, quite frankly.

Q: What do you think about the overall challenge of facing the defending champions at their home, and kind of seeing what you have with your team?
A: Well, we are looking forward to the opportunity, certainly. I really feel like we can measure up against anybody we play if we coach and we play well. So, we are looking forward to going, I guess it’s up, to Boston and playing the Patriots.

Q: You made a point last night about finding guys who may be discouraged and making sure that they are not on this team and they are not part of this. How do you prevent guys from hanging their heads?
A: I didn’t see any guys that were discouraged. They had a really good day. That was just to make sure that, listen, it’s one game that didn’t go our way, we didn’t coach it or play it the way that we needed to, to win it. You move on and you put all of your efforts into playing the Patriots.

Q: What about today and you get the news with Sterling (Shepard) that I don’t think any of you guys thought was coming? He’s a team leader and an emotional guy.
A: Well, we have to move on. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for other people to have more of an impact.

Q: On that safety, was that something Daniel (Jones) could have checked out of to have been able to run that play?
A: No, we need to block it better.

Q: Is Daniel supposed to change the protection?
A: No, we need to block it better. Then we would’ve had everybody but one guy blocked and we would’ve been able to run to the left and keep ourselves from being tackled for a safety.

Q: As a connoisseur of quarterbacks, is there one thing that at this age (Tom) Brady does that is still so incredibly remarkable, amongst all of his traits?
A: Yeah, he leads his team to victories. That’s what’s remarkable about what he does. He plays the quarterback position at a high level, and that’s what you’re looking for your quarterback to do.

Q: How impressive is it? He’s been doing it since your starting quarterback was 4 years old.
A: Good point. Yeah, it’s very impressive. He’s been doing it for a very long time at a very high level. I mean, what more can you say about that? He’s helped his team win multiple Super Bowls and has played extremely well for his team to help them do that. What more can you say?

Q: How did Alec (Ogletree) look today?
A: Yeah, he looked good. He looked good. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready to roll.

Q: How did Josiah (Tauaefa) look in the snaps that he played yesterday?
A: He did a good job for his first time out. I thought he ran around and made a couple plays. Yeah, it was a good first outing for him.

Q: Back to running backs, with Saquon (Barkley) kind of up in the air and (Wayne) Gallman in the protocol, in a short week how much does that truncate the process of figuring out whether you need to get a guy before Thursday? How much does that change the thought process or mentality?
A: Well, we are going to do what we can to be ready to play with the running backs we have. Maybe it’s the guy that’s on our practice squad, maybe it’s a guy outside the building. We’ll just keep going through that process.

Q: What’s your comfort level with using Eli Penny in an extended role there? I know you keep saying he tells everybody he’s a tailback. How much do you view it that way?
A: It’s like when a receiver goes down, the guy behind him gets more opportunities. When a running back goes down, the guy that’s slated behind him will get more opportunities.

Q: I’m guessing you view him as a tailback then, if you say that?
A: Well, I put him in there as one.

Q: Who has a say in the Saquon decision, how will that decision be ultimately made?
A: We’ll just do what’s best for the team, and we’ll put him out there when he’s able to play at a high level and protect himself. We’ll decide that as we go here.

Q: Could he be a game time decision?
A: I don’t know that. I wouldn’t speculate on any of that right now. We’re still hours away, I guess, from the game.

Q: What was the mood with the team today from what you could tell?
A: They were about their business. We are all disappointed that we lost, but nobody’s discouraged and everybody came out here with a can-do attitude. I thought it was a really good practice, actually.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

The players practice on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday’s away game against the New England Patriots.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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