New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated after injuring his hand lighting fireworks, according to medical records obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It immediately casts a shadow on Pierre-Paul’s future. He reportedly wouldn’t let the Giants personnel see him in the hospital days after the Giants took a long-term $US60 million offer off the table.
If the offer is still there, Pierre-Paul is left to sign the franchise tender, worth about $US14.8 million for one season.
Hugh Douglas, a former all-pro defensive end, told Mark Eckel of NJ Advance Media the harsh truth about Pierre-Paul’s situation — he may have to re-learn what he does on the field.
“I don’t know. I couldn’t imagine having to play without your index finger, especially on your right hand. God gave you five fingers for a reason. Just from a tactical standpoint that’s your grabbing hand, to not have an index finger it makes it hard to grab. I’m trying to grab a piece of wood right now and not use my index finger, it’s hard. You can’t grip. For him as a pass rusher, he’s going to be losing his power.”
“He’s going to have to re-learn everything he does. He’s going to have to learn how to use his hand without having an index finger.”
Douglas added that it could be “really bad” for Pierre-Paul’s future.
On the surface, Pierre-Paul’s injury doesn’t seem as devastating as C.J. Wilson, who reportedly lost two fingers lighting fireworks. As a cornerback, Wilson probably needs his hands a little more to grab balls and make interceptions.
Pierre-Paul, as a defensive end, primarily tackles players and swats balls. Of course, having the dexterity to make interceptions would be nice, but through five years in the NFL, Pierre-Paul has only made two interceptions.
His contract status is a just as much of an unknown, however. Nobody is sure whether he’ll be ready for the start of camp, but if he can play this season, he’ll have to take a one-year gamble on himself and prove he can still play with a missing finger.
If Pierre-Paul does have to re-learn everything, it may be a rough season, and he could regret turning down that $US60 million offer before the Giants took it away completely.
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