Sterling Shepard back at practice after missing 2 games

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Geno Smith might have an advantage in his first game as the New York Giants' quarterback. He might have wide receiver Sterling Shepard back in the lineup.

Shepard has been dealing with migraines that cost him the last two games. He finally was a full participant in practice Wednesday for the first time in almost two weeks as the Giants began preparations for a Sunday matchup on the road against the Oakland Raiders.

He finally feels fine after feeling noxious with blurry vision and headaches. He said the best way to describe it was like a lingering hangover.

“It was lasting every day. It wasn’t getting any better or any worse. It like I was stuck in a state,” Shepard said. “I would wake up thinking I would feel better that day and was just stuck there for 10 days straight. … Eventually I came out of it and I was fine.”

The Giants’ leading receiver was listed as questionable for Thursday’s loss to the Washington Redskins before being made inactive for the contest. He thought he was close but still not 100 percent.

Shepard has undergone numerous tests throughout the past two weeks. He was never put into the concussion protocol, but there was reason for concern when the symptoms wouldn’t go away.

“There is always a thought of something else, but I just go based off what the specialists say,” Shepard said. “If they say migraines, I guess I have migraines. It was like all I wanted to do was sleep and be in a dark room.”

He later added when asked if there were any ways that he could avoid this in the future: “It’s not like they can take my brain out and ice it.”

Shepard said he felt good Wednesday and was trending in the right direction His return would help a Giants offense which struggled badly against the Redskins. They managed just three total points and had one first down in the second half.

He has 38 catches for 475 yards and a touchdown.

Starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson also returned to practice Wednesday for the Giants. He was a limited participant. Goodson has a decent chance to return to the lineup for the first time since Week 7 when he suffered a high ankle sprain against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Giants' defense has struggled without Goodson. They’re 31st in the NFL, allowing 131.7 yards per game on the ground.

The Giants’ biggest injury concerns entering this week’s contest are offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow). All three missed Wednesday’s practice.

Pugh, who has missed the past two games, worked on the side with a trainer. He’s going to test his back Thursday, but thinks it’s more likely he’s ready next week for the Dallas Cowboys rather than this week. Harrison rode the stationary bike while his teammates practiced.