New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard should be ready to play Week 1, coach Pat Shurmur said Sunday.
Shepard, who suffered a fractured left thumb last month, is no longer in a no-contact jersey at practice, a fact that was noticed by reporters Sunday. After the practice, Shurmur was asked if Shepard would definitely be ready for the team's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
"We believe so, yeah. Absolutely," Shurmur said.
Shepard, who still has a splint on the thumb, told reporters he's not ready to play in a game right now but agreed he should be ready for the Giants' opener on Sept. 7.
"I wouldn't say I'm all the way back, but I'm pretty close. I'm where I need to be," Shepard said, according to NJ.com. "I'm going to do everything the trainers tell me to do, and we're on pace for where I want to be."
While the news was promising for Shepard on Sunday, another key member of the team's receiving corps has been sidelined by an injury.
Golden Tate sat out practice Sunday because he is in concussion protocol, Shurmur said. The coach said Tate suffered the concussion in the Giants' preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Friday.
Tate, who signed with the Giants this offseason, will miss the first four games of the season after he lost his appeal of the suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy last week.
ESPN's Jordan Raanan contributed to this report.
Coach: Giants' Shepard will be OK for Week 1