Giants’ receiving group is an injury-filled mystery for Cowboys showdown



It is anyone’s guess what the Giants’ wide receiver corps will look like Sunday against the Cowboys.

Maybe it will be the same unit that helped Daniel Jones set a career-high with 402 passing yards in last week’s overtime win over the Saints. After all, C.J. Board (clavicle) has been cleared to return to practice.

Or maybe it will be a full-strength group, enhanced by the returns of starters Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, both of whom were out last week with hamstring injuries. During the viewing window into practice Wednesday, Shepard jogged and cut, while Slayton caught passes off to the side.

“Both those guys are kind of pushing to get back as fast as they can,” head coach Joe Judge said. “Really, we’ll have to see them [Thursday] when the pace comes up a little bit in practice. I’m optimistic.”

The one option the Giants don’t want to explore is playing without Kenny Golladay, who now is battling a groin issue to go with the hip injury he fought through the past two weeks. Golladay is coming off a season-best six catches for 117 yards.

John Ross (left) and Kenny Golladay celebrate a Giants touchdown against the Saints.
John Ross (left) and Kenny Golladay celebrate a Giants touchdown against the Saints.

Because the Giants held a walk-through, Wednesday’s injury report estimates participation as if it were a true practice. The non-participants would have been Shepard, Slayton, S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), LT Andrew Thomas (foot), TE Kaden Smith (knee) and DL Leonard Williams (knee). Williams and Thomas were new additions to the injury report.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), LG Ben Bredeson (hand), S Nate Ebner (quad) and Golladay would have been limited participants. Bredeson played in the first three games and started one before missing last game.

Two of the Cowboys’ biggest stars, WR Amari Cooper and RB Ezekiel Elliott, did not practice.

Despite the season-ending injury to LB Blake Martinez, sources said the Giants did not show significant interest in free agent LB Jaylon Smith, who was released by the Cowboys and signed with the Packers on Thursday. … The Giants re-signed DB Steven Parker to the practice squad just one day after he was released.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spent about 20 minutes in the Buccaneers’ locker room with Tom Brady after their reunion game last Sunday. Some see it as out of character for Belichick, but Judge was a witness to the final eight Brady-Belichick years.

“When you know the guy, I don’t think you see anything like that as out of character,” Judge said. “There’s a lot of things you see publicly and a lot of things you see privately.I’ve worked for a lot of guys whose maybe public perception doesn’t come off great, but privately you know them as some of the best human beings you’ve ever met.”

— With Paul Schwartz


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