When Jason Pierre-Paul reported to the Giants yesterday, sources from his camp expressed optimism about his physical condition, suggesting that he could be ready to play in Week 1. However, a Newsday report this afternoon threw cold water on the notion that Pierre-Paul would return to the field immediately, and it sounds like the Giants are a little less bullish on his recovery timetable.
According to Ian Rapoport and Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter links), Pierre-Paul won’t sign his franchise tag with the Giants today or anytime in the immediate future. The NFL.com duo suggests that JPP’s hand isn’t quite ready, and that he could be out for another month — and even that might be an optimistic timetable.
Pierre-Paul is still recovering from a hand injury that he sustained on the July 4th weekend in a fireworks accident. JPP, who lost a finger in the mishap, hadn’t reported to the Giants or taken a physical with the team until yesterday, so the glowing reports about his recovery were presumably all coming from his camp.
Having not yet signed his franchise tender from the Giants, JPP now appears very unlikely to earn the full $14.813MM value of the tag. Still, not signing that one-year deal gave the 26-year-old leeway to miss training camp and the preseason without being fined, and allows him to avoid being placed on New York’s non-football injury list. When a team places a player on the NFI list, he’s automatically ruled out for the season’s first six weeks, and the club can elect not to pay the player’s salary.
We’ll have to wait and see how the JPP situation plays out in the coming days and weeks, but for now it looks like Tony Romo won’t have to worry about the veteran pass rusher chasing him around the field this Sunday night.