New York Giants WR injuries put heat on unproven players

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

An already shallow group of New York Giants wide receivers got thinner in the opening two days of training camp. A pair of injuries will put some heat on unproven players.

Just when fans thought how much worse can the New York Giants lack of quality receivers get, the unit suffered some serious setbacks. Two key players were injured in the first three practices of training camp, one is a season-ender.

It started Thursday when slot receiver Sterling Shepard fractured his thumb. Things seemed to be going Shepard’s way this offseason. The New York Giants traded their top wide receiver Odell Beckham to Cleveland, almost guaranteeing the fourth-year wideout more touches this season. Additionally, the team showed their faith in him by signing Shepard to a four-year, $41M extension.

The G-Men say Shepard’s status is week to week for now. A thumb injury is tough for someone who makes his living catching the football. It’s not an injury a receiver wants to rush back from because if the thumb isn’t strong enough, drops will follow. There is a good chance Shepard sits out the remainder of camp, aside from conditioning, to heal and rest.

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That bad news was followed today by the loss of Corey Coleman. He’ll miss the entire 2019 season with an ACL tear. Although not a major part of the New York Giants passing game after he joined the team midway through last season (eight targets in eight games), the former 15th overall draft pick of 2016 had a good chance to win at least the third receiver job.

His loss will be felt more on special teams. Coleman proved to be an outstanding kick returner, averaging 26 yards per return in 23 opportunities.

Until New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman either trades for or signs a veteran wide receiver, it’s up to some very inexperienced players to catch Eli Manning‘s passes. Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, and Bennie Fowler are the best Big Blue has left. The three receivers have a total of16 years of experience and 190 games played which is good. Unfortunately, they have amassed 175 catches for 2354 yards and 14 touchdowns in that time. That averages out to 11 receptions, 147 yards, and a pair of TDs per season COMBINED.

Also on the roster are Brittan Golden, who has been in the league since 2013 and has a grand total of 18 receptions, including none in 2018, Alonzo Russell (1 NFL game, no catches), Da’Mari Scott (3 NFL games, no catches), and undrafted free agent Reggie White Jr.

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The New York Giants need help and they need it now.