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Giants Sterling Shepard
NFL

3 WRs Giants Should Add After Sterling Shepard Injury

  • Justin Melo
  • September 27, 2022
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New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is feared to have suffered a season-ending injury in their Monday night defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, according to multiple reports. Shepard suffered the non-contact injury on the Giants’ last offensive play and was eventually carted to the locker room. It represents a sizable blow to Brian Daboll’s pass-catching corps.

Injuries at receiver are beginning to mount for the Giants. Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson was inactive against the Cowboys with a knee injury. Kadarius Toney was also inactive as the second-year player is dealing with a hamstring ailment. The Giants are lacking depth and bodies.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen must consider adding another receiver to his roster, either via a practice squad, a trade, or free agency. We’ve swiftly identified three candidates from practice squads around the league.

ISAIAH HODGINS WR, BUFFALO BILLS

A sixth-round selection out of Oregon State in the 2020 NFL Draft, Schoen worked as Buffalo’s assistant general manager when Hodgins joined the Bills, so he’s awfully familiar with his intriguing skill set. Schoen could pluck Hodgins by offering him a spot on the Giants’ 53-man roster.

Hodgins enjoyed an incredible preseason period. In three exhibition contests, Hodgins recorded 16 receptions for 124 yards. Hodgins sat out the entire 2020 campaign with a shoulder injury, and a knee injury cost him the majority of 2021. It’s been a difficult road to recovery for Hodgins, but he’s now healthy and ready to contribute. 

Hodgins was a difficult final cut for a Bills regime that’s already invested two-plus years of development into him. Buffalo is deep at receiver and ultimately chose to stash Hodgins on the practice squad. The Giants should pounce on his availability. 

Fellow Bills practice squad receiver Tanner Gentry is an alternative option for similar reasons.

CORNELL POWELL WR, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Powell was recently viewed as a wide receiver prospect with a high upside. Powell was electric at Clemson and Chiefs general manager Brett Veach ended up drafting him with the No. 181 overall selection in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Powell’s acclimation to the pro ranks has been slower than expected. Powell was effective throughout the preseason, totaling eight receptions in three showings. He deserves a shot to contribute to an active roster.

There’s a connection worth exploring here. Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka served as Kansas City’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator throughout Powell’s rookie campaign in 2021. Kafka is familiar with Powell and their existing relationship could land Powell on the Giants’ radar.

Fellow Chiefs practice squad receiver Daurice Fountain may also garner interest.

RIVER CRACRAFT WR, MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Dolphins may want to consider adding Cracraft to their 53-man roster as soon as possible. Cracraft was a standard game-day elevation in Miami’s latest triumph, an emotional victory over the Bills. Cracraft contributed by scoring an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter on a gorgeous tight window throw by Tua Tagovailoa. Cracraft reverted back to the practice squad at the conclusion of the contest. His lovely touchdown certainly placed him on the map.

The Giants were already familiar with Cracraft before he enjoyed a standout moment on Sunday. Giants wide receivers position coach Mike Groh spent two seasons (2018-19) as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Cracraft spent a portion of the 2019 season on Philadelphia’s practice squad before signing a reserves/futures contract with them the following offseason. Groh should stand on the table in favor of adding Cracraft, who’s also a special teams contributor.

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Justin Melo