Star New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul injured his hand in a Fourth of July fireworks display gone horribly wrong this past weekend near Miami, according to multiple reports Sunday.
Andy Slater of WINZ-Miami tweeted around 4:15 p.m. Eastern on Sunday: “Big Jason Pierre-Paul story about to break in S. Fla. He severely injured hand in fireworks accident. @Coach_Eisy first to hint at situation.”
@Coach_Eisy later tweeted out about the situation, “So for the #Giants fans curious about JPP, I was told that amputation COULD an option but not confirmed.”
Reports, however, indicated Sunday night that Pierre-Paul’s injuries were not career threatening. TMZ Sports wrote Sunday afternoon that Pierre-Paul’s fingers and thumb were injured specifically.
Defensive linemen in the NFL constantly rely on their hands during games as they jab and grab at offensive linemen while in pursuit of ball-carriers. Pierre-Paul is arguably the top defensive player on the Giants.
The Giants and Pierre-Paul have been involved in something of a contract dispute for the better part of this NFL offseason. New York placed its franchise tag on Pierre-Paul in March but he hasn’t yet signed the $14.8 million tender. Obviously, this off-the-field injury could cost Pierre-Paul millions.
“I think I am worth a lot of money,” Pierre-Paul told ESPN late last season. “I don’t know what my future holds. Who knows if I am going to be in a Giants uniform, who knows where I am going to be in the offseason. Like I said, now, the numbers are there, I had a great season, and everybody sees it. There really is nothing else to say, just negotiations and it is coming.”
Pierre-Paul missed several key OTA dates this spring.
“From what I’ve seen on film, [Pierre-Paul] still looks pretty elite to me … but not being here, he’s also going to be behind because there is a lot we are doing right now,” new Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “Terminology is big in this league on both sides of the ball. Hopefully he is up to that challenge [when he returns] and we can get up to speed real quick.”
The former South Florida star was selected by the Giants with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and his impact on the New York defense was almost immediate. Pierre-Paul, nicknamed “JPP,” won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2011 and is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. He had one of his most productive seasons with Big Blue in 2014, registering 12.5 sacks and forcing three fumbles.
According to Forbes, more than 10,000 Americans were injured by fireworks last year and more than 200 people go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries around the Fourth of July holiday.