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Transcript: Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Eric from BBI : Admin : 10/5/2022 6:05 pm
Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Q: How difficult has this been for you to process?

A: Obviously, just coming off my Achilles (tear) and having to deal with the ACL (torn anterior cruciate ligament) is no fun. But I just try to come in with a positive attitude. I feel like that helps the recovery process. You take a day of grieving, and it's time to move forward. But it's frustrating, but I try to come at it with a positive attitude like I said. I fight through it. I've gotten through it once; I can do it again.

Q: Do you know what actually happened?

A: It was really weird. I think I actually partially tore it probably like two plays before that. I think I partially tore it. I kind of got up, and my knee did something funny. I was just like, 'Forget about it, and keep on pushing.' The next play actually got blown dead, which in hindsight I'm kind of happy about because I was about to have to stick off my left and hard cut. And the next play I was literally just jogging, and I'm sure you guys saw it. It just slid on me and popped.

Q: There's been quite a stir about the turf here.

A: I've heard stuff about that. I know they tested it a couple of years back and said it was fine. I mean, I love playing on grass. I know a lot of my teammates, we all love playing on grass. It's just a little bit more forgiving than turf is. At times, your foot can get stuck in the turf. I think all around, it's better on bodies to play on grass. But I'm not in the decision room or making that decision.

Q: How shocked were you when you went down? For us watching it, it was like 'What happened there?'

A: Exactly. Like I said, I was just jogging. And you wouldn't think anything would happen from there. Maybe I was compensating throughout the game for a little lack of strength. I don't know; it could be a number of things. But it was no fun.

Q: You seem to be staying especially involved though. What all are you doing? Because we see you out on the field. We see you on the bench.

A: Just helping the guys out. Just because I'm going down doesn't mean I need to have a cloud over my head and bring everybody else down. I think it's big for me, being one of the veteran guys in this locker room, to help the guys in any way I can – whether that's helping them with route technique or just to hype them up. I like to be around the guys. I was actually supposed to leave last week, just come to the locker room, hype everybody up. I'm usually the guys that's on the DJ (aux) operating all the music. So, I was coming to do that. And I was just going to go back home and kick my knee up. But I just got too into it, and I was like 'You know what? I'm staying for the game. I'm not going up in the box. I'm going down on the field.' And Coach Daboll (head coach Brian Daboll) let me. So, I'm thankful for that.

Q: You've surprised so many people so many times coming back. Do you have another one in you?

A: Dang right. I'm a fighter. So, I want to go out on my own terms. I don't want something like this to make me go out. So, I'm going to fight to get my body back to where I can perform and get this thing good.

Q: When did it take you to come to that conclusion?

A: Not too long after. Like I told you, it's like a grieving period and you have a lot of stuff flying through your head. But when you get time to settle down and what you really want, the next day it hit me. I was like, 'You know what? I'm not going to let this get me down. I'm going to fight through it. I've done it once; I can do it again.' It gives me a chance to get my body fully healthy, and I feel good about it.

Q: You've meant a lot to this organization for a long time. But did you learn in recent days how much you also mean to this new coaching staff?

A: Yeah. For sure. And not only that, but they mean a lot to me. They didn't have to give me another shot to come back off that Achilles, and they did. And I can't thank this staff and ownership enough for the opportunities that they've given me. And I feel like I owe so much to them. I want to give them my all; I don't want to go out like this. So, like I said: I'm going to fight. I'm a fighter. So, that's what I'm going to do.

Q: With that said, do you wonder if your next days might be somewhere else? Did that cross your mind?

A: I'll let that take care of itself. All I can do is focus on every day that I have and each day coming up. So, that's what I'm going to focus on – just putting one foot in front of the other and focusing on the small wins right now. So, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

Q: What did it mean to you that (former wide receiver) Odell (Beckham, Jr.) flew out here to see you?

A: It meant a lot to me. That's one of my brothers. He's done that a number of times, flying from wherever he is. He was in the Bahamans, but he wanted to come see me. But I was happy to see his face; I hadn't seen him in a while. But it was great seeing him.

Q: Was it meaningful seeing him step in this building? To you, given everything that's happened?

A: Yeah. Like I said, I wanted to see him. And he came out to see me, so we definitely got a chance to talk a lot. And I was happy to see him.

Q: He's a free agent. You're allowed to recruit.

A: (Laughs). We didn't do anything illegal.

Q: Can you travel to London?

A: Yeah.

Q: Are you going?

A: Yep. I'm going to go.

Q: So, when are you having the surgery?

A: Not sure yet. Still kind of up in the air. I'll talk to the (athletic) trainers and see what they think is best and go from there.

Q: Did you see the video of your celebration on the sideline from Sunday?

A: Yeah, I did. I didn't know they – they catch everything nowadays (Laughs). They catch everything. I thought I was in the moment by myself.

Q: Did that video kind of encapsulate what you were feeling at that moment?

A: Yeah, a little bit. I was just happy. I'm glad the guys got a win. They've been doing a great job, worked really hard throughout the week, and we deserved that one. They worked their tail off, and I was happy to see us get the W.
I am not sure I can like a player's character more than Shep's  
D HOS : 10/6/2022 1:03 pm : link
I wish he would have had a career more like Toomer's, but you can't get a better attitude in a vet leader.
Classy kid...  
hyadoin : 10/6/2022 1:08 pm : link
So sad for his career.
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