Jason Pierre-Paul returned to practice last week for the first time since injuring his hand in a July 4 fireworks accident and Tom Coughlin isn't ruling the defensive end out for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It has to do with him and whether he’s ready or not,” Coughlin said. “If he’s ready, we’ll play him. If he’s not ready, then we’ll take more time.”
Pierre-Paul made a habit of posting workout videos on his Instagram account during his rehab to prove to his naysayers that he could return before the end of the regular season. Coughlin and company are comfortable with where their star pass-rusher is at from a strength and conditioning standpoint.
“He’s in outstanding physical condition, we knew that,” Coughlin said. “We tried that right away. We had him in pads on Saturday morning, we had him in pads on Monday, so we’re feeling good about accelerating him along. There’s nothing unusual about it when a guy who is in his position is in the condition that he’s in and prepares himself to play. That’s what he’s done.”
While practice shape and game shape are two completely different things entirely, Pierre-Paul might get to test his damaged hand and conditioning level in Week 9. The Giants training staff will retrofit a glove to enable Pierre-Paul to play at a high level. Despite making a significant recovery from the injury and staying diligently with his training regimen, Pierre-Paul will ultimately decide if he laces them up against Tampa Bay.
“I think it’s probably both,” Coughlin said about the importance of building up Pierre-Paul's stamina and getting his hand comfortable . “All that’s been told to me and all the preparation has gone on to make sure he has a glove that helps him in that regard.”