Four months ago, on July 4, Jason Pierre-Paul accidentally lost the index finger and parts of two others on his right hand in a fireworks accident. Thus began a saga that involved Adam Schefter releasing JPP’s medical records, the Giants trying to slap the franchise tag on JPP, and finally, a new contract and hi-def photos of said hand. Halfway through the Giants’ 4-4 season, Pierre-Paul is returning to the field for the first time tomorrow for his team’s game against the Buccaneers.
Pierre-Paul will wear this four-fingered glove, one of three other gloves he is trying out, or perhaps a “large club wrap.” ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports that, “The Giants want Pierre-Paul to be as functional as possible but also to be able to protect the hand from the violence of the game he plays.”
The main problem for Pierre-Paul and his new light appendage is that he traditionally lines up in a three-point stance, with his right hand on the ground. He is used to lining up on the right side of the defensive line and looking inwards towards the quarterback. As he can’t push off with his right hand now, he’ll either line up on the left side or change his stance.
Coach Tom Coughlin told Graziano:
“Yeah, stance and gathering himself to come off on the ball,” Coughlin said. “You can’t put your head to the inside when you put your left hand down. So it’s different for him and he has to work with it.”
Jason Pierre-Paul and his teammates also said that tackling did not seem to be a problem in practice. Good news for JPP, as his new contract is laden with sack incentives.
Photo via AP