4 NY Giants players we hope play well vs. the Lions on Friday

The Giants will rely on their veterans when they face the Lions on Friday

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants
Carolina Panthers v New York Giants / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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1. WR Sterling Shepard

Sterling Shepard is entering his eighth year in the NFL with the New York Giants. The former second-round pick out of Oklahoma was considered a top prospect on the team and possibly within the league since his arrival in East Rutherford in 2016. While the wideout will, without a doubt, make the Giants' roster, he will have to work harder than ever to receive the playing time he deserves.

During his tenure with the G-Men, Shepard has battled a series of injuries, including a season-ending torn Achilles in 2021 and a season-ending torn ACL in 2022. He has been limited to just 10 games in the last two seasons, making nine starts. While Shepard was recently taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list, his health ahead of the 2023 season brings up many concerns for Giants fans.

While Shepard has been active and currently practicing with the team, he will most likely not earn the start on the Sunday Night Football matchup with the Dallas Cowboys come Week 1. Shepard is currently listed as a backup to Darius Slayton on the Giants' first unofficial depth chart of the new year, released on Tuesday afternoon.

This will be a make-or-break year for Shepard, who signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Giants. Big Blue added several offensive weapons this offseason, including tight end Darren Waller, wide receiver Parris Campbell, and 2023 third-round pick Jalin Hyatt. This means if Shepard cannot stay healthy or does not perform to certain expectations, his role will decrease.

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