Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul returns in game after 1st quarter injury
Pierre-Paul injured his shoulder in the first quarter after he made a tackle on Raiders running back Rashad Jennings, who broke free from the Giants defenders’ grasp. Pierre-Paul immediately grabbed his shoulder area and seemed in great pain. He was escorted to the locker room by the team training staff for further evaluation and possibly an X-ray.
Although Pierre-Paul was initially considered questionable to return in the game, he made it back on the field late in the first half despite the shoulder injury.
Since joining the team as a first-round pick in 2010, Pierre-Paul has proven himself as a key player on the Giants’ defensive line, which is known for its success of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. But the unit has struggled greatly in that regard during the 2013 season. Entering Sunday’s game, the Giants had just 10 sacks in the first eight games this season. Pierre-Paul accounted for just one of those, though he managed to sack Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor just one play before suffering the apparent shoulder injury.
The 6-foot-5, 278-pound Pierre-Paul has been slowed down all season due to health issues. Pierre-Paul acknowledged earlier this week that he is not yet at “full strength” after undergoing back surgery this offseason. And while the numbers have reflected that Pierre-Paul still has to work his way back to 100 percent, the he also recently admitted his back was the best it had felt since the offseason surgery.
"It's time for me to just go out there and handle my business," Pierre-Paul said earlier this week. "I'm feeling very confident about myself. I'm anxious to go out there."
The Giants’ Week 9 bye certainly helped Pierre-Paul regain some back. While it might be too late for Pierre-Paul to replicate his 2011 success (16.5 sacks) his improving back still brings him a step closer to 100 percent health, after constantly fretting over aggravating the injury during the first half this season.
"Now I gotta get out there and just let it ride," Pierre-Paul said after a practice late in this week. “Can't think about it. For those [first] eight games, I was thinking, 'How's my back going to take this?' I can't think about that. I can't think about getting hurt. I have to go out and play this game like I know I can."