Last week, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has done well in his rehab from back surgery but stopped short of giving a prediction about whether or not the defensive end would join his teammates on the field for the first game of the season.
Pierre-Paul, who is on the PUP list as his recovery continues, said Saturday that he feels like he’s 75 percent of the way back at this point. He also stopped short of making any predictions about his return date beyond saying that the goal was to return when he’s ready rather than aiming for the opener against the Cowboys.
“A back is a really, really horrible thing to have, back surgery period, and you don’t want to rush back,” Pierre-Paul said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I’m not concentrating on the first game, the second game, the third game, fourth game, fifth game, sixth game. I’m just trying to come back when I feel like I’m ready to come back.”
If Pierre-Paul can’t make it back for the start of the season, Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck will be the starters at defensive end for the Giants. Tuck’s well aware of the pressure on him and the rest of the defensive line to improve on last season, tasks that would be made considerably easier if Pierre-Paul is stalking quarterbacks off the edge all year long.