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Giants DE Pierre-Paul close to making season debut

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The Sports Xchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul continues to accelerate toward his 2015 debut at an amazing pace.

After going through his first week doing mostly work on the side only to finish with taking scout team reps, head coach Tom Coughlin said that Pierre-Paul will do some work with the defense this week in addition to the scout team work.

“JPP is in outstanding physical condition so we feel good about accelerating him along,” Coughlin said.

“We had him in pads on Saturday morning, we had him in pads on Monday, so we’re feeling good about accelerating him along. There’s nothing unusual about it when a guy who is in his position is in the condition that he’s in and prepares himself to play – that’s what he’s done.”

Since returning last week, Pierre-Paul has been focused, upbeat, and extremely patient despite being constantly peppered with questions regarding his right hand, which is missing his index finger and part of his thumb, and which also has swollen middle and ring fingers as a result of the accident.

“I’ve been doing good in practice,” Pierre-Paul said. “Coming off any injury, you’ve just got to go out there and have that confidence. I feel confident in myself shooting my hand and doing what I do best—playing the run and getting back there pass rushing. So that’s what’s going to bring me back.”

The NFL’s worst-ranked defense can certainly use a shot in the arm. New York has the second fewest sacks in the NFL and last week was badly torched by Saints’ Drew Brees, who went 39 of 50 for 505 yards and seven touchdown passes.

Pierre-Paul smiled when it was suggested that his return might just be the anecdote to what ails the defense.

“Put it all on me, huh?” he said with a chuckle. “Like I said, I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team win. I’m starting off slow, I’m a little bit rusty – that’s going to happen (because of) no training camp, no nothing. But when I’m out there, I’m giving it my all.”

Both Coughlin and Pierre-Paul denied that the medical staff was rushing Pierre-Paul’s return because of the problems on defense.

“No. It has to do with him and whether he’s ready or not,” Coughlin said. “If he’s ready, we’ll play him. If he’s not ready, then we’ll take more time.”

“I want to play, yeah,” Pierre-Paul added regarding playing this weekend against the Bucs. “But it’s up to the medical staff. They’re taking me slowly.”

When he does face live action again, Pierre-Paul said there will be an adjustment for him to get used to his missing digit. The good news is he’s optimistic that the transition will be seamless and quick.

“It’s something you’ve got to adjust to and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it,” he said. “I had a great coach out there coaching me how to put my left hand and rush off that, so it is what it is.

“I’ve been able to grab and shed tackles,” he added. “It’s just a big adjustment, but I’m okay, I’m doing pretty good. I’m out there doing what I can. Hopefully I’ll be out there Sunday.”

NOTES: CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) returned to practice for the first time in two weeks. Amukamara, who was limited, did individual drills and was listed as limited for Wednesday. He appears to be on track to return for Sunday’s game. … LB Jon Beason (ankle/knee) did not practice on Wednesday. Beason, who was wearing a heavy wrap on his ailing knee, missed last week’s game despite making the trip. Beason appears to be a long shot to be ready for Sunday’s game. … S Craig Dahl (neck) did not practice on Wednesday. It’s unclear at what point or when Dahl was injured on Sunday, but with the Giants adding safety Cooper Taylor to their practice squad, Dahl’s injury looks to be a concern for the Giants. … RB Orleans Darkwa (back) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Darkwa was injured in the first half of Sunday’s game and was sore afterward, but his injury is not believed to be significant to where it might keep him out of Sunday’s game. … WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), who came off the injury report last week, is back on with a hamstring strain. Randle tried to fight through his issue last week, only to have his struggles. He didn’t practice Wednesday, but head coach Tom Coughlin was hopeful that Randle could go on Thursday.


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