The New York Giants are left holding the pieces of a promising season now in shatters as on Wednesday they learned that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is set for sports hernia surgery and could well miss the rest of the regular season as well as a chunk of any potential playoff appearance.
Pierre-Paul is out four-to-six weeks with a sports hernia surgery, an injury suffered this past Sunday in a loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The surgery and subsequent rehab might well cost the influential Giants defensive end the rest of the season as well as the playoffs, assuming that his team makes it to the postseason without him in the lineup.
The Giants are now 8-4, having seen their six game winning streak snapped this past Sunday.
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After a disappointing 2015 season cut short due to an offseason injury, Pierre-Paul has registered some of the better numbers of his career including a second-best on the team seven sacks this season. He’s coming off a performance two weeks ago at the Cleveland Browns where he had four sacks and a Pick-6.
“We wish JPP the best and a speedy recovery. We’ll use an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to fill his shoes,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said. “It won’t be easy to do, but we have confidence in the players in the room.”
Now heading into a Sunday night game against the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys, the Giants must figure out how to replace such an important part of their defense. The whole scheme is predicated on the pass rush which Pierre-Paul is an obviously a key part of off the edge. The Giants pass rush in recent weeks has masked some underwhelming play from the linebackers and the secondary, issues that might now be exposed in his absence.
The Giants are uncertain if Pierre-Paul will be placed on Injured Reserve at this point.
The role of Pierre-Paul will be filled by several players along the front four. But one of the edge rushers looking at increased snaps this weekend will be undrafted rookie free agent Romeo Okwara out of Notre Dame.
“Romeo is a young, conscientious player. He’s worked hard to get where he is. He has good pedigree coming out of a good school,” McAdoo said. “He’s learned the techniques that are required to play the position.”