The New York Football Giants are preparing to go to battle against the Cincinnati Bengals in preseason action on Friday without one of their most important players, and that fact likely will not change in the near future, as Jason Pierre-Paul continues his recovery from a serious hand injury. According to multiple reports, Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated, as well as sustaining serious burns and a fractured thumb after a Fourth of July fireworks accident in his native Florida.
On Saturday at Giants’ training camp, at the Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, head coach Tom Coughlin indicated that he had finally spoken to JPP, in conversation that was cordial if nothing else. For the veteran head coach, who does not like to talk about injuries to begin with, the conversation was merely an opportunity to say hello and catch up with his star defensive end. It did not shed any new light on the extent of his injuries, nor did it provide a timetable for his return to the team.
“Everyone has had a good conversation, mine was the same,” Coughlin indicated. “Do I know anything more than I did before? No. Do I know when he is coming [to training camp]? He is looking forward to coming. He is anxious to be here. But he is not coming until he feels like he is ready to play.”
The fact that the two parties finally communicated, more than a full week into training camp, says more than the actual conversation between Pierre-Paul and his coach. Without Pierre-Paul in the fold, New York will try and patch together a pass rush, under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Currently, second-year undrafted free agent Kerry Wynn is listed as the first team left defensive end (LDE) on the Giants’ unofficial depth chart, while veteran Robert Ayers takes over for Pierre-Paul at right defensive end.
“It was good to hear his voice. He sounded good. He sounded interested in getting back her [with the team]. His baby and fiance are doing well, and he wishes he were here too,” Coughlin said after practice when he met the media.
While Pierre-Paul has had recent telephone calls with Coughlin and team general manager Jerry Reese, and been in text communication with co-owner John Mara, one person on his call back list is the franchise’s other co-owner Steve Tisch. In a statement posted on the team’s website, promoting Tisch’s latest film project called “Southpaw”, Tisch voiced frustration with the arm’s length approach by Pierre-Paul to him.
“It’s been very frustrating,” Tisch said. “I’ve reached out to Jason. I’ve not heard back from Jason. I’m not going to hold that against him, I understand his situation is difficult, complicated, and I’m sure very confusing to him personally. Just as John Mara expressed, Tom expressed, Jerry has expressed, (senior vice president of medical services) Ronnie (Barnes), my first priority and my first message is that I care about him as a man. I think whatever issues he has to deal with, I’m sure are complicated, frustrating and difficult. My message to him is get better, we cheer for you. Ronnie and our doctors have access to the best doctors, if not in New York City and the country, possibly in the world. He should take advantage of that. Let us see you sooner than later. You’re not going to be judged, you’re going to be helped.”
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