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New York Giants activate WR Sterling Shepard for Eagles game

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was activated from injured reserve for Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Shepard is expected to play a limited number of snaps if he passes a pre-game test. The veteran receiver has missed the previous four games with turf toe.

The Giants also elevated wide receiver Alex Bachman and linebacker Trent Harris for Thursday night.

The expectation is that Shepard will return in a limited role, perhaps logging 10-20 snaps against the rival Eagles. New York was short on receivers prior to the moves, having already ruled out wide receiver C.J. Board earlier this week with a concussion. Leading receiver Darius Slayton has also been dealing with a foot injury.

Shepard's presence will be a welcome addition to a Giants offense that is 31st in the NFL, averaging 16.8 points per game, a figure that includes two defensive touchdowns. They have managed just three passing touchdowns in six games.

"It would be great [to have him back Thursday]," quarterback Daniel Jones said earlier this week. "He's obviously a special player and can do a lot of different things. It would be great to have him back. But we've had guys step up and play really well in that spot. Regardless of who's out there, it's up to us to execute."

Shepard worked on the side with trainers last week and was on the field in uniform and a helmet Monday for the first time since the injury. That started the clock on a 21-day window to activate him from injured reserve. The Giants' hope has always been that it would be much sooner.

Shepard was injured during a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears. He tried to play through the injury but was unsuccessful. He tried to return to the game in the second half but lasted just one play.

The Giants (1-5) took a major hit when they lost Shepard and star running back Saquon Barkley in that game.

Shepard was placed on injured reserve later that week, meaning he would have to miss at least three games. He had eight receptions for 76 yards prior to the injury, including six catches on six targets in the opener.

Shepard, 27, has 255 career catches for 2,938 yards and 17 touchdowns, all with the Giants.