Jason Pierre-Paul knows how his July 4 fireworks accident has impacted his NFL career, but the Giants defensive end took a moment to count his blessings this holiday season.
“I’m thankful to be alive,” Pierre-Paul responded to a question about what he’s thankful for this Thanksgiving. “In the situation that I was in I could have died. I’m just thankful to be alive, so that’s what I’m thankful for. “
Over four months since his mid-summer mishap, Pierre-Paul admits that the rehab process was arduous and a test of both his physical and mental fortitude.
“I’m a better person, stronger and my mentality changed,” said Pierre-Paul. “My outlook on life is different.”
Giants coaches have been pleased with Pierre-Paul’s attitude and dedication to get back to the player he used to be and the talented pass-rusher never asked for sympathy or felt sorry for himself; instead he diligently focused on his rehab.
“I never asked why me,” noted Pierre-Paul of his accident. “I never questioned God. I just did what I had to do to get back.”
Though he hasn’t tallied a sack in his two games since returning, Pierre-Paul has made his impact felt and isn’t getting wrapped up in sack totals.
“Who cares though,” said Pierre-Paul about a sack he recorded that was taken off the board in Week 10. “It isn’t all about sacks. As long as my guys are getting back to the quarterback I’m doing my job.”
The Giants will take Thanksgiving Day off and while Pierre-Paul won’t travel down to his home in Florida, he admits that several teammates have welcomed him with open arms to spend the special holiday at their houses.
“My family didn’t come up,” noted Pierre-Paul, “I’m just going to be bouncing around with a couple of guys, a couple players because this is my family..“