Giants Announce Jason Pierre-Paul To Play In First NFL Game Since Mangling Hand In Fireworks Accident
The New York Giants announced Saturday that Jason Pierre-Paul will play in tomorrow’s game against the Buccaneers, according to ESPN. This will be the first game of the season for Pierre-Paul who only recently rejoined the team.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, Jason Pierre-Paul is the defensive end who suffered a significant hand injury during a Fourth of July fireworks explosion. Many feared the injury signaled the end to the 26-year-old Pierre-Paul’s career.
Pierre-Paul initially kept the Giants staff from visiting him during his recovery and many suspected it was Jason’s attempt to hide how significant the injury was. Shortly after, reports began to surface that Pierre-Paul suffered the amputation of his index finger. During a press conference last week, Jason Pierre-Paul shocked reporters by allowing them to take photographs of his mangled hand.
At the time of the injury, Jason had not yet renewed his contract with the Giants. It was reported by USA Today that the fireworks mishap could cost Pierre-Paul up to $60 million.
The Giants re-signed Pierre-Paul to a one-year deal on October 27. Jason’s new contract was laden with stipulations and many didn’t expect Pierre-Paul to play until the end of November given his many months away from live action. Jason Pierre-Paul, however, seemed to have the confidence that he was in the right physical shape to return early.
According to the Giants website, Pierre-Paul touted his stellar physical conditioning shortly after signing his new contract.
“I’m very excited to be back. I’m getting ready to do what I have to do. I’ve been training down in South Florida with my trainer. Every day, I got up at 7:30 and lifted weights, I’ve been doing what I have to do to stay in football shape.”
Pierre-Paul reportedly had been utilizing a variety of gloves to protect his damaged hand during practice in an effort to find the one that worked best, with Jason obviously impressing staff enough to garner a coveted roster spot. Linebacker Jon Beason, who was struggling with both ankle and knee injuries, was moved to the injured reserve list to make room for Pierre-Paul.
Both the New York Giants and fans seemed to be excited for the return of Pierre-Paul, as the defense has struggled without him. Pierre-Paul has racked up 42 sacks, forced eight fumbles, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the previous five years of play for the Giants.
@Giants More pressure on the QB, which they’ve been struggling to get so much this year.
— Nick Allen (@NickDiesel34) November 7, 2015
@Giants means they have a chance finally, someone please get at least near the QB
— Denny (@GoGiantsGo17) November 7, 2015
Pierre-Paul’s return to the football field is nothing short of miraculous given the extent of his injuries. Ironically the very team Jason Pierre-Paul faces this weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost cornerback C.J. Wilson after he suffered a fireworks injury on the Fourth of July also. Wilson was forced to retire due to the significance of his injuries, but Pierre-Paul joins a growing list of players who have overcome severe health adversity to get back to the gridiron.
Pierre-Paul recently used his Facebook as a platform of encouragement for others who seem to be facing insurmountable odds.
It’s unlikely that Pierre-Paul’s impact this season will give him the opportunity to beat out such players as the Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Berry or Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer, who are the frontrunners for the “Comeback Athlete Award,” however, the Giants are undoubtedly hoping that Jason Pierre-Paul’s return will greatly impact their defense. Since Pierre-Paul’s absence, the Giants NFL passing defense is currently dead last in the rankings.
[Jason Pierre-Paul cover image courtesy of Al Bello/Getty Images Sports.]