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Sterling Shepard plans to play vs. Dallas; Justin Pugh suffers setback

From ESPN - December 7, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is trending in the right direction for Sunday's matchup with the Dallas Cowboys while right tackle Justin Pugh is heading the other way.

Shepard practiced on a limited basis Thursday but said he ran hard and "felt good" after being held out the previous day. He expects to play this weekend against the Cowboys.

"Hopefully we will get him back, knock on wood," interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

Pugh will not play. He's set to miss his fourth straight game with a back injury. He returned to practice Wednesday and felt great at the start. But it progressively felt worse to the point where he did not participate in the final period.

"It's definitely a tough situation," said Pugh, who had an MRI.

The Giants could use him on Sunday. Dallas' DeMarcus Lawrence lines up opposite the right tackle and is tied for the league lead with 13.5 sacks. He will now likely face Bobby Hart on Sunday, with rookie Chad Wheeler still dealing with a concussion.

Lawrence had 1.5 sacks against Hart in the opener.

This is not an ideal situation for the Giants or Pugh. He tried to come back last month and it was too soon. He was not able to finish the game against the San Francisco 49ers and is trying to avoid a similar situation this time around.

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