COMMENTARY | New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back on Tuesday, June 4. Don't worry, the G-Men's destructive defensive end could be back for the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 8, but he's likely going to miss all of training camp and the exhibition schedule. Granted it's bad news, but there may be a silver lining in it for Big Blue. Pierre-Paul's absence will create opportunities for other Giants to step in and step up. Here's a look at five players who stand to benefit the most from his expected 12-week absence.
DE Justin Trattou -- In 2011, Trattou signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent and appeared in six games -- not bad for a New Jersey native. However, he's a long-shot to make the 53-man roster, unless he has a very strong camp and preseason. One option for Trattou is special teams.
DE Damontre Moore -- Big Blue's third-round pick out of Texas A&M couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to make a first impression. The Giants are eager to see what the rookie can do, and he could earn important regular-season snaps based on his performance in team workouts and preseason games. Keep in mind, Moore had 26.5 sacks in three seasons at Texas A&M.
DE Adewale Ojomo -- Ojomo will be fighting for a roster spot, so he needs all the time on the field he can get. Remember, the athletic defensive end opened eyes last year with an impressive preseason (he led the team with four sacks). Ojomo may stick around with another strong preseason showing.
DE Adrian Tracy -- Tracy has big upside, but there wasn't room for him in the defensive rotation with Osi Umenyiora around. Well, Umenyiora is gone -- he signed with the Atlanta Falcons -- and now Pierre-Paul is going to be out for a few weeks. This opens the door for Tracy, who spent 2010 on injured reserve and 2011 on the practice squad. He could be the team's next breakout player.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul -- Pierre-Paul's surgery may be a blessing in disguise for him. Last year, he played through back pain and needed multiple epidural shots just to get through the season. As a result, it can be argued, his sacks total dropped off to 6.5 from 16.5 the year before. A pain-free JPP could result in a return to form, and that would be bad news for the rest of the NFC East.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.Sources
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