COMMENTARY | New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Monday that he has "no idea" if star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will return from his shoulder injury this weekend when the Giants head west to face the San Diego Chargers.
Pierre-Paul suffered the shoulder injury in the Giants' Week 10 victory over the Oakland Raiders. He had been playing through it since then but missed last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins after playing only 27 snaps the week before against the Dallas Cowboys.
Coughlin was asked if the Giants, 5-7 and barely breathing in the race for an NFC playoff berth, should shut Pierre-Paul down for the remaining four games.
"I don't think so. I don't think it's in that position," Coughlin said. "He hasn't done anything in a week. He's been treated and he's rested and hopefully there's going to be some progress made and we'll see what that looks like when we start to practice."
So, let me ask you. Should the Giants shut JPP down for the rest of the season or try to play him if possible?
Your answer probably depends on whether or not you believe the Giants, two games out in the NFC East with four games to play, really have a chance to surpass the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles to win the division title.
Coughlin had previously admitted that there was "no question" the Giants would have to monitor the condition of Pierre-Paul's shoulder the rest of the season and that it was "questionable" that he would be completely healthy again this season. ESPN says surgery on the shoulder is a possibility.
While reaching the playoffs is still possible for this once 0-6 team it remains extremely unlikely.
Whether he is capable of playing, even in a limited role, the remainder of the season there is a solid argument to be made the the smart thing for the Giants to do with their best defensive player is to put him on IR.
When he hurt the shoulder Pierre-Paul was just beginning to find his form following offseason back surgery. Perhaps the prudent course of action for the Giants is to let him heal, come back next season and see if he can regain the form he showed in 2011 when he recorded 16.5 sacks and was named All-Pro.
Sitting JPP might also help the Giants' future in another way. It would force them to continue to give extended snaps to third-round pick Damontre Moore, a promising pass-rusher whose 17 snaps played vs. Washington were his most extensive action of the season.
What do you think, Giants' fans?
[NOTE: All quotes from transcripts provided by the Giants unless otherwise noted.]
-- Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the New York Giants for SB Nation. He writes about the Giants and Yankees for Yahoo.
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