New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul appears to be one step closer to returning to action in an NFL game, something that did not seem possible just four months ago.
A Fourth of July fireworks accident caused Pierre-Paul to lose his right index finger and part of his thumb, and severely damaged much of the rest of his hand.
On Wednesday, Tom Coughlin told the media that Pierre-Paul will see more action in practice the rest of the week, and “if he is ready,” he will play on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It has to do with him and whether he’s ready or not,” Coughlin told the media (via Big Blue Review). “If he’s ready we’ll play him. If he’s not ready then we’ll take more time.”
While that sounds like a maybe, maybe not, Coughlin also acknowledged that the team has accelerated the time table for returning to the field, suggesting they feel there is a good chance JPP will be ready to go on Sunday.
“He’s in outstanding physical condition,” Coughlin said. “We’re feeling good about accelerating him along. There’s nothing unusual about it when a guy that’s in the position that he’s in is in the condition that he’s in and prepares himself to play. That’s what he’s done.”
Both sides have incentive to get JPP back on the field as soon as possible. The Giants are last in the NFL with just nine sacks and just allowed Drew Brees to throw seven touchdown passes in a single game. As for Pierre-Paul, his contract is incentive-laden and the amount of money he will make this season depends on how much he plays and how many sacks he can record.
Ed Werder of ESPN spoke about Pierre-Paul’s readiness for game action with some people who watched him in practice.
“They told me he is in outstanding physical shape,” Werder said. “They were surprised by that.”
In addition to having to learn how to play with part of his hand missing, Pierre-Paul is also dealing with some atrophy, having lost ten pounds during the time he was unable to workout. That he is even close to returning is simply amazing.
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