Friday, September 29, 2023
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Promising Giants receiver Johnson tears Achilles

5:56 PM ET

  • Jordan Lannan ESPN Staff Writer

East Rutherford, NJ — New York Giants Ben The season lost wide receiver Colin Johnson on Wednesday, the same day veteran Sterling Shepard returned to practice.

Johnson tore his Achilles tendon in practice Wednesday, according to the team. The wide receiver from the University of Texas (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) has been training with a first-team representative in recent weeks, with Kadarius Toney and Sheppard on the sidelines.

Coach Brian Dabore noted earlier this week that Johnson and wide receiver David Hills were impressive. Johnson, who started Sunday’s preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals, had three catches for 41 yards; Sills had five catches for 56 yards, with most of the damage coming from the front line.

“Collin Johnson, David Sills, they’ve stepped up their game,” Daboll said. “And they’re right, not just to build a team, but to play.”

The Giants’ opener will be held in Tennessee in 18 days. Toney (right leg), CJ Board (ribs) and Darius Slayton are also dealing with minor injuries.

Meanwhile, Shepard is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon last December. He returned to training on Wednesday for the first time since the injury.

“Feeling great, man,” said Shepard, who sneaked a few drills in the field and even caught 20-backup quarterback Terrod Taylor pass. “It’s a blessing to be back on the pitch. Especially when you’ve been through an injury like this and you’ve been on the sidelines watching those guys recovering for so long. You have to cherish every day because you never know when You’re going to have to sit for that long.”

It’s been eight months and five days since Shepard tore his Achilles tendon. He’s the longest-serving Giants, finishing his career with 349 catches for 3,884 yards and 21 touchdowns, all in New York.

Shepard’s return makes it seem like the Giants are really in a healthier position. Toney, Board and Slayton participated in the early part of Wednesday’s practice.

But Toney was seen grabbing the back of his leg in training, and Johnson and Marcus Kemp (hamstring) were also seriously injured. Later in the day, both Johnson and Kemp entered the injured reserve.

The Giants claimed wide receivers Bailey Gaither and Jaylen Moore on Wednesday to fill the void. They cut tight end Jordan Adkins to make room on the roster.

Johnson, 24, had 29 catches for 377 yards in 26 career games with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Giants. He found success as a blocker with the Giants last year.

But this summer, he seems to have taken his game to the next level. He played consistently throughout training camp, earning the trust of starting quarterback Daniel Jones and some first-team representatives.

Johnson even had 10 catches for 123 yards in the first two games of the preseason this season. With Tony still battered and Shepard recovering from a serious injury, Johnson looks likely to start — or at least play a big role — in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans. Instead, his season ended prematurely.



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