The Fourth of July is a time for fun, food and fireworks.
Unless you’re Jason Pierre-Paul.
The New York Giants defensive end injured his hands in a fireworks accident in South Florida this past weekend, reportedly suffering severe burns on his palms and fingers. Pierre-Paul, however, did not lose any fingers, and, according to reports, doctors believe there will be no permanent damage to his hands.
“There’s no bone damage, which was the good news in all this,” Bleacher Report NFL insider Jason Cole said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “So it’s (a) flesh (injury), but does that just mean skin or does that mean further burns? I guess it’s more positive than initially thought when some people were saying parts of his fingers were blown off earlier when this first broke via Twitter. So it’s going in a positive direction.
“But the Giants, I talked to (senior vice president of communications) Pat Hanlon via email today, and they obviously want to see Jason for themselves and they want to see how the hand is,” Cole continued. “They want to check on his state of mind. They want to know what the recovery is going to look like. So there are some steps that the Giants have to go through and obviously Jason has to go through before we know exactly what it is.”
Pierre-Paul, 26, led the Giants in sacks (12.5), quarterback hits (21) and tackles for loss (16) last season. He also had 76 tackles – second only to J.J. Watt (78) among defensive linemen.
The Giants used their franchise tag on Pierre-Paul, who has not yet signed the $14.8 million tender.
“I think they would be withholding that paperwork for a little while,” Cole said. “I don’t want to take this lightly, but I would think that from a business standpoint, they’re going to say, ‘We want to see what the injury (is like).’”
The Giants, in fact, could pull the franchise tag, which would make Pierre-Paul a free agent. They also could sign him and put him on the IR, but then they would be paying him to do nothing.
“I think there’s just some due diligence that they’re going to have to go through here,” Cole said. “They’ve got to make sure that he’s going to be all right by the time the season starts. I think training camp – or most of training camp – is probably going to be a loss at this point in time for him. He’s probably not going to be able to do any kind of drills – certainly nothing where he’s grabbing and throwing offensive linemen. Depending on how long this recovery is, you could be talking about a guy who doesn’t really see much action until late August, early part of September. Conditioning for him the last couple of years has been a problem as he’s dealt with the back injuries. What’s his conditioning going to be like if you’ve got to hold him back all the way to the start of the season?”