Jason Pierre-Paul returned to the Giants organization today and is currently undergoing a medical exam. The news comes as sign of optimism for JPP’s status for the regular season, but there are still some pending details for the two parties to sort through.
JPP has been permitted to be in the locker room and participate in team meetings but may wind up on the Non-Football Injury list, which would hold the pro bowl defensive end out of the first six weeks of the season. Regardless of his status on that list, the Giants as an organization are happy to have him back and fellow defensive end Robert Ayers talked about JPP’s return to the team.
“He’s a true warrior for us,” Ayers said about Pierre-Paul. “He’s put in a lot of work for us. He’s grinded, he’s busted his butt for us and this team. To have him back is going to lift everyone’s spirit.”
Ayers later referred to spirit as the morale of the team, explaining the JPP is a boisterous personality that improves the attitude and football mentality of the entire locker room. While obviously morale and high spirits are important, JPP’s reclamation and familiarity to the playbook carries an equal weight. Ayers has no doubt that JPP will be more motivated than ever to make up the time he missed.
“That’s like asking me, ‘How hard will it be for a Ferrari to get going?’” Ayers joked. “Again, that’s what he is. I view him as a well-oiled machine. He’s a very smart guy, so I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take for him to get things going. He’s going to do everything he can to get ready.”
JPP’s fellow defensive end was not shy in sharing his praise for the troubled pro bowler. Ayers commented mostly about Pierre-Paul’s work ethic and admired his commitment to the game.
“But I definitely expect him, whenever he’s ready, to be full-tilt and to give it his all, and do whatever it takes for him to be ready. That’s the one thing I can promise you.”
Hearing the sincerity in Ayers’ comments is a reassuring sign that JPP will be ready sooner than the average player with similar circumstances. However, not only is JPP behind in mastering the Spagnuolo’s playbook, the USF alumni also sustained the amputation of his right index finger. Ayers doesn’t think that the injury will affect his play as much as people are speculating.
“JPP is so powerful, sometimes he just lifts guys without grabbing them. So for his game, the way he plays, and the way I study him and see the things he does—I think he’ll be alright.”
While a segment of pass rushers utilize their digits, JPP has a playing style founded on force, using his freak athleticism to his advantage. Because of the style of play, the index finger amputation shouldn’t hinder him as much as it would other defensive ends. As for his official game day status though, Ayers knows just as much as the public.
“How he plays, and if he plays, and when he plays—that’s another thing. But just being around your brother, that’s big.”
The Giants will be facing off in Dallas to open up the 2015 season; whether JPP will be lining up against Tyron Smith is still on the line, but there is no question that his presence in the Giants facility has already made a positive impact.