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Giants’ Sterling Shepard expected to miss Week 8 game vs. Lions

It’s Week 8 of the NFL season and injuries are taking their toll on just about everybody. One victim of the injury bug is New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Shepard has already missed three games with a concussion, and will likely miss a fourth. According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Posthe is not expected to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Shepard is sorely missed by the Giants offense. Without Shepard, the Giants’ aerial attack has not surpassed 250 yards in 2019. The touchdown-to-interception ratio stands at three to six. With the former Oklahoma Sooner in the lineup, New York becomes significantly better through the air. The Giants have two games with more than 300 yards passing with Shepard, and none without him.

Without Shepard, Big Blue’s wide receiver group is thin. Golden Tate is the No. 2 option. After him, there is a list of experienced youngsters and journeymen.

Rookie Darius Slayton is a big-play threat but isn’t quite No. 1 option status. After him, career journeymen Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler round out the depth chart. Both are better suited to playing meaningful special teams snaps, not offense on a consistent basis.

The bright side is those wide receivers aren’t the only ones set to catch passes. Tight end Evan Engram is a dynamic threat who demands defensive attention. Running back Saquon Barkley is a terrific receiver out of the backfield.

Fielding an offense with weapons is crucial to Daniel Jones’ development. Rookie quarterbacks on poor offenses tend to struggle heavily later on in their careers.  Developing a rapport with talented wide-outs, such as Shepard, will help the Giants, and Jones, down the road.