While releasing short Instagram workout videos, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has maintained he’d be ready to play again soon.
But a former teammate who has talked to him seems to be the first to suggest that might not be this year.
Former Giants pass-rusher Osi Umenyiora, who was inducted to the team’s Ring of Honor last night, said he’s had conversations with the injured franchise player, who lost his right index finger among other injuries in a Fourth of July fireworks accident.
“If anybody could do it, it’ll be him,” Umenyiora said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He’s a powerful, athletic football player. I relied more on technique: He was just more athleticism. A guy like that, he’d be able to.
“He’s still young. He’s going to be able to play football. I don’t know if it’s going to be this year, but he’s going to be able to play.”
The Giants effectively sent him back to work out some more after meeting with him on Labor Day. Since then, we’ve seen grainy video of him pulling a sled and bench pressing (sort of), but no indication that he might be close to coming back. Teammates are largely in the dark, but Umenyiora has been in touch.
“I talked to him. He’s in good spirits,” Umenyiora said. “He seems happy. I think he’s just happy he’s alive, you know what I mean, [after] all the stuff that he went through. As soon as he gets out here, he’ll be OK. He just needs to get healthy first. As soon as he does, then he’ll get out here.
“Obviously, the team needs him. I think it’s obvious for everybody to see that. You know what type of player he is. As soon as he’s healthy, he’ll come out; and hopefully before the end of the year he’ll be out there helping.”
But that timeline is far from certain, as he continues to not make $870,000 per week and the Giants continue to not have the kind of pass rush they need.