Sitting at 4-8 with five weeks remaining in the 2023 NFL regular season, things haven’t gone as planned for the NY Giants. With the team practically eliminated from playoff contention, the Giants front office will be evaluating player performances in December with an eye towards the future.
Despite quarterback Tyrod Taylor being cleared to return from a rib injury and practicing in full this week, Giants head coach Brian Daboll has announced that Tommy DeVito (AKA Tommy Cutlets) will start against the Packers on Monday Night Football. Big Blue knows what they have in Taylor: a veteran backup who is capable of stepping in and running the offense. They’re using this time to find out what they have in DeVito and other players on the roster moving forward. With that said, here are seven players who are playing for their futures:
7. Sterling Shepard
As the longest-tenured member of the team, the Giants are all Sterling Shepard has ever known since being selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Throughout his career, Shepard has established himself as a leader within Big Blue’s locker room. He’s been through a lot with the Giants, playing for five different head coaches (including interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo in 2017) in eight seasons, finding a way to stick on the roster through it all.
Injuries have been an issue for Shepard throughout his career. He’s missed multiple games in all but two seasons and the injuries seem to be catching up to him. He’s recorded career lows in receptions, yards, and touchdowns each of the past three seasons. Not to mention, his usage has declined heavily. He’s played just 16 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season in 11 games played, earning a measly 16 targets.
Turning 31 in February, Shepard’s contract expires after this season. If he wants to finish his career with the only team he’s ever played for, he is going to need to step up in December to earn another contract.