Even though the Giants aren’t thinking about shutting down defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul because of a shoulder injury, he can’t help but think about next year.
And he thinks once he can put that injury behind him, he’s going to be better than ever.
“When I come back next year, I don’t think there’s going to be a tackle in the league who can stop me,” Pierre-Paul said, via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
Of course, he might not be able to do much until then. He was inactive Sunday, after barely making a peep the week before against the Cowboys, following the injury against the Raiders.
“It was painful,” he said. “What I expected to do, I didn’t do. It got to a point where I could only go out there on third downs, basically. I’m out there rushing with one arm, and I’m trying. But you get to a point where you can’t be Superman. You’ve got to come out and hope the next guy can do better than you.”
He said he hopes to avoid surgery, which “would set me back even more,” and wants no part of any discussion of taking the rest of the year off to get well.
“I’m doing everything I possibly can to put myself back on that field,” Pierre-Paul said. “Shutting down is not in my vocabulary. Otherwise, I would have shut it down when I got the injury in the Oakland game. Even if I can get back for one game, that would be worth it to me. I’m not going to be myself until next year. I know that. I was starting to get there before this injury, but the way I feel now, I’m not going to play unless I’m going to be a factor and I know I can protect myself.”
As long as the Giants are clinging to mathematical playoff chances, they’re going to keep holding out hope. But the moment those chances are gone, it makes sense to turn thoughts to next year.