The Giants were out on the field today at TPC for their next-to-last OTA. The buzz has shifted from the WRs to the condition of DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who is beginning a 12-week rehab period after having surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. When it comes to Giants’ injuries, the only person on the grounds you’ll hear from is head coach Tom Coughlin, who had this to say to reporters this afternoon:
What was your reaction to Jason-Pierre Paul’s injury and needing a procedure?
“Surprised, I think. We were trying to manage it; seemed to be doing a pretty good job of it. All of a sudden there was a circumstance that he was in some pain. So he went through the normal procedure, which we have gone through many times. The doctors recommended the surgery. They got a second opinion and the doctor recommended the surgery as well. It wasn’t anticipated, but it is a fact now. Surgery is completed and he will do the best job he can in rehab.”
Q: He has obviously battled back issues before. Was that always a herniated disc or was that injury actually new?
A: You have the wrong guy. Medically, I’m not going to take a shot at that.
Q: Did the injury have any effect on his play last year at all, or is it two separate issues?
A: There were times when he was bothered by his back last year. But I’m sure there are an awful lot of people in the league that are that way from time to time.
Q: Regarding JPP, where is he now?
A: Still in California.
Q: Will he come back here?
A: Oh yeah, he will be right here; he will come here.
Re: JPP’s ability to get back to full strength following back procedure
A: I have not talked to the doctor. But that is the full expectation. That is why they did it – so that he wouldn’t – he was struggling and they thought they could eliminate the pain and perhaps gain some consistency for the season. And that is why the surgery was recommended.
Q: He was out of shape last year. Did that have anything to do with his back problem?
A: I really couldn’t speculate on that. I don’t know if he was out of shape. He was heavy. He is a big kid.
Re: any concerns about ongoing back issues with JPP
A: Anybody that has had a back here knows that that is a very difficult thing to deal with. Nothing feels good. Your whole body suffers under that circumstance. Sometimes it is longer to recover than some other injuries. There is concern, but we are anxious about getting him back here and seeing him and talking to him. Robert Nunn has talked to him. Ronnie (Barnes), I believe, has talked to him. So let’s just get him back here and see where we are; see what he feels like. He may feel a lot better than he has, who knows.
Q: Does your gut tell you that JPP will be ready for the opening game?
A: I don’t know that. I wouldn’t – I’m hoping, but I wouldn’t say that. That is an aggressive position to take. If anybody can do it, it is him. But I would like to wait and see. And again, listen to what the professionals are telling him. That is the key right now.
Q: Are there similarities between the timing of JPP’s situation this year and Hakeem Nicks’ situation last year with the foot?
A: Yeah, but it wasn’t the foot.
Q: What is the message for the guys that play on that defensive line with JPP out right now?
A: Let’s go; let’s go. We have plenty of talented guys. Let’s step up and go. There are more opportunities for younger guys – we need them. There it is, you can see it. Competition is looking right at you. You don’t even have to go any further than the first game. So that is the way I would look at it – opportunity.