With the New York Giants winding down their preseason schedule, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will return to the practice field for the first time since undergoing offseason back surgery in June. Big Blue's star pass-rusher experienced pain and soreness throughout training camp, but told reporters on Monday that he thinks he's ready to give it a go.
"I'm about to do some individual drills today," said Pierre-Paul. "First time out there with the team for several months. So that's basically it. I'm off PUP and that's a good thing."
New York's medical staff has adopted a patient approach with its stud defensive lineman; ultimately leaving the decision to return to practice up to Pierre-Paul.
"It was my decision to come off [PUP]," noted Pierre-Paul. "I'm just going to go out there and test it out, and to be with the team and see how it is."
A two-time Pro Bowler, Pierre-Paul admitted he still feels a ‘little bit' of soreness after workouts, but wants to take the next step in his journey back to the starting lineup. Just two months removed from surgery, New York's No. 90 is taking things slow to avoid any setbacks.
"I'm taking it day-by-day," said Pierre-Paul. "That's all I can do. I'm not trying to rush. Back surgery is a serious thing. You can't try to come back too early otherwise you mess it up even more so."
The Giants are preparing for their preseason finale on Thursday night against the New England Patriots in Foxborough and Pierre-Paul has already been ruled out for that contest.
"No, I'm not playing any preseason games," admitted Pierre-Paul. "Right now I'm just trying to get better and test it out and see how it is taking on double teams and all that right now."
With likely only a handful of practices under his belt before the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Pierre-Paul's status is still up in the air for Week 1.