Sterling Shepard (thumb) practicing without limits


Sterling Shepard is on pace to be ready for the New York Giants' season opener versus the Dallas Cowboys.

The receiver, who suffered a fracture to his left thumb in late July, shed his yellow non-contact jersey in practice over the weekend and participated without restrictions.

"It's actually healed up pretty fast and ... I'm feeling good," Shepard said, via the New York Post. "I wouldn't say I'm all the way back, but I'm pretty close. I'm where I need to be. I feel good about that."

Shepard is still wearing a splint, and he continued to practice despite the injury. Getting rid of the yellow jersey indicates he's on track for Week 1.

"I don't see anything that can hold me back right now, unless something was to happen in practice," he said. "I'm on pace."

We're unlikely to see Shepard in Big Blue's final two preseason tilts as he continues to progress from the injury. The Giants desperately need a fully healthy Shepard to open the season with Golden Tate serving a four-game suspension.

"The [last four] games of last season, I was in the same situation [with Odell Beckham out with a bruised quad]. I felt like I handled it pretty well, so I imagine it being the same way," he said. "I'm going to go out and be myself and let everything take care of itself.

"I'll be bouncing around [the formation] a little more than I would if [Tate were active]. I kind of expected that going into the season anyway. My mindset is on that, and it should be fun."