Sterling Shepard in familiar spot awaiting return to Giants

Sterling Shepard has been here before and experienced a setback.

The Giants receiver is back at the point in the five-stage NFL concussion protocol where he has been cleared to fully participate in practice by team doctors but is awaiting the final OK from an independent neurologist to return to games.

It was just three weeks ago that Shepard cleared even the last hurdle and then reported a return of concussion symptoms the next morning. He went to Pittsburgh to see medical experts soon after, as concern grew he might have to shut it down for the rest of the season – or longer – for his own safety.

Now Shepard, who missed one game with a concussion early this season and the last five with his second concussion, is in line to return Sunday against the Bears, barring another setback.

The Giants have three others recovering from concussions: Janoris Jenkins is at the same stage in the protocol as Shepard, practicing fully but not independently cleared. Nate Solder participated in non-contact parts of practice Wednesday. Rhett Ellison did not practice.

“You are in the protocol until you are not,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “A lot of times what happens is they get cleared at the end of the week [and practice] with the anticipation that they will be cleared.”

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