Reports of Sterling Shepard’s ankle injury have been greatly exaggerated.
The second-year wide receiver left Wednesday’s practice after rolling it 90 degrees during a drill. In the aftermath, he unintentionally broke the No. 1 rule for any son: Don’t scare mom, especially on her birthday. Luckily, as it turned out, that was the only thing broken.
“I think it was a little bit of over-exaggeration,” Shepard said when asked what the last few days were like. “I mean, I even got word – I saw something online that said I was in tears coming off the field, which was pretty amazing because you guys (the reporters) were two fields over and I had on a mirror visor. So that just scared some people, definitely scared my mother. But we’re doing pretty good. It’s moving along pretty well right now.”
Shepard added: “At first, I was pretty worried. I have never rolled my ankle like that before and I felt it pop. That was the main thing that scared me. The initial pain wasn’t too good but now we are moving along and it’s doing pretty good now.”
Word spread quickly to his mother, Cheri.
“I didn’t tell her anything,” he said. “I wasn’t going to tell her, but she saw it online or my agent called or something, so she was flipping out.”
An MRI revealed that the injury wasn’t anything serious, and Shepard said he was glad it happened now and not closer to Week 1. Last year’s second-round draft choice from Oklahoma had just finished working on the underwater treadmill when he met with the media Friday afternoon. He and the medical staff are taking it day by day, and if he feels good enough to play in a preseason game, he will. Otherwise, he will “for sure” be ready for the Sept. 10 opener in Dallas.
For him, for his mother, and for his head coach, there was a sense of relief.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game,” Ben McAdoo said. “We take them all serious and we look forward to getting him back when we can get him back.
“Everybody’s important. Shep’s a good player. He had a tremendous offseason, he was having a good camp, and when he gets healthy and steps back in there, we’ll welcome him back.”