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Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul Could Miss Start of Season After Fireworks Incident

JPP injured hand in fireworks accident.

The annual celebration of our nation’s independence was not so joyous of an occasion for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who injured his hand during a fireworks-related accident Saturday night.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Pierre-Paul has burns on his hand and fingers, with possible nerve damage in the fingers. However, the injury is not believed to be life- or career-threatening.

Details on the incident and the injury itself are scarce at this time, but regardless of the details, this is not a good situation for player or team. Adam Schefter reports Pierre-Paul could be out for an extended period of time.


Pierre-Paul is the Giants’ top defensive end, and a missed training camp would be very costly. The Giants have a new defensive coordinator for the first time since 2010, and during training camp and the preseason it will be crucial for players to learn Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Pierre-Paul would be missing out on that.

While losing Pierre-Paul for any length of time would be disappointing, the Giants especially hope Pierre-Paul is available for their first regular season game: A primetime matchup with the division rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Pierre-Paul has dominated the Cowboys in ten career games, recording 27 tackles, seven sacks and even a pick-six. With the Cowboys boasting one of the most impressive offensive lines in the NFL, not having Pierre-Paul would be a crushing blow for Big Blue.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is in danger of missing the start of the regular season (USA Today).

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is in danger of missing the start of the regular season (USA Today).

The injury is also having financial ramifications. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report that the Giants pulled a long-term contract offer worth $60 million off the table. Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his one-year, $14.8 million franchise tag tender, but it seems safe to assume he will soon. The deadline for teams and franchise players to sign a long-term contract is July 15. Given the timing coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Pierre-Paul’s injury, the sixth-year player out of USF will likely play out the season on the tender and hit free agency in 2016.

While it is an unlikely scenario, the Giants also have the option of rescinding the tender, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.

If the ailment keeps Pierre-Paul out of games, the Giants can place him on the non-football injury list until he is cleared without taking up a roster space. A move to the NFI would rule Pierre-Paul out for at least the first six regular season games. The Giants would not need to pay Pierre-Paul for every week he is on the NFI list, meaning each missed game would cost Pierre-Paul nearly $900,000.

The Giants will need to turn to their depth at defensive end if Pierre-Paul ends up missing time. With Cullen Jenkins likely to start on the left side, Robert Ayers seems to be next in line to fill in for Pierre-Paul on the right. Damontre Moore and rookie Owamagbe Odighizuwa may see more time as well.

There are a still a lot of questions to be answered about this situation, but it goes without saying that Pierre-Paul’s well being is the first priority. We’ll keep a close eye on this story and provide updates as they become available.

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