Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul struggled through a disappointing 2013 season after having back surgery before the year and then injuring his shoulder on his way to ending the season on injured reserve.
Pierre-Paul deemed himself “fully healthy” in May, but something either changed with his assessment or his condition over the last few weeks because he’s not calling himself 100 percent past last year’s injuries anymore. Pierre-Paul said Wednesday that he’s still feeling the remnants of last year’s injuries, although he vows that it won’t stand in the way of a return to his more productive self once the season gets underway.
“I still feel a little something, I still feel a little something, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing that is going to bother me while I’m playing,” Pierre-Paul said, via the Newark Star-Ledger. “Now, I’m flying to the ball. Last year, I was completely — back surgery, you couldn’t expect me to come in and do what I did in  — then I got hurt with my shoulder.”
It has been two full seasons since Pierre-Paul’s breakout 2011 campaign and he’ll have to show that he’s healthy as well as capable of being the same dynamic player he was back then even though the Giants no longer have Osi Umenyiora or Justin Tuck occupying the concerns of opposing blockers. Doing so would help the Giants as a team and would put Pierre-Paul in position to cash in with a big contract following the expiration of his rookie deal at the end of this year.
Pierre-Paul believes he can — “I’m going to shut a whole bunch of people up” — but the proof will have to come several months from now.