(USA Today Sports Images)
Many of the important stories from early in training camp revolve around timetables for returning to the field. We're just (thankfully) six weeks and one day from the first NFL regular-season Sunday of the year, so the clock is ticking louder.
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, one of the more talented young players in the league, had back surgery this offseason. He started camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, and can't say yet whether he'll be available at the start of the season.
JPP on playing Week 1: "Maybe, maybe not. We'll see"
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) July 27, 2013
Pierre-Paul met with the New York media and didn't paint a very optimistic picture. He said he is not close to 100 percent as we approach August.
And again, he reiterated that him being in the lineup for the season opener is no sure thing.
Jason Pierre-Paul says he's at 75 percent following back surgery. #nyg
— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) July 27, 2013
Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks two seasons ago when the Giants won the Super Bowl, but just 6.5 last year. The Giants missed the playoffs, which probably isn't a coincidence.
Pierre-Paul told reporters he had pain when he got in his stance last year, and weakness in his right leg. He thought he could rehabilitate the back through strength exercises, but when the pain returned he had surgery. It wasn't a fun experience.
How Pierre-Paul heals over the next six weeks is a huge issue for the Giants. Their defense isn't the same without him.
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