The Giants have pegged defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s recovery time from back surgery at 12 weeks, a timeline that runs close enough to the start of the regular season that there’s a possibility the Giants will be starting the regular season without him.
It’s a possibility that coach Tom Coughlin appears to take seriously. Coughlin was asked if he was counting on having the defensive end in the lineup when the Giants face the Cowboys in Dallas on the first Sunday night of the season.
“I’m hoping, but I wouldn’t say that. That’s an aggressive position to take,” Coughlin said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
There’s not much for the Giants or Pierre-Paul to gain from rushing to make the first game of the season. The doctor who performed the surgery and the Giants both say they expect a complete recovery and 13 or 14 games of Pierre-Paul at full speed is certainly a better scenario than having him on the field before he’s totally ready to play.
That’s not to say that he won’t be ready, just that the first game is a relatively small part of the big picture.