“I’m as healthy as I can be right now,” Nicks told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on WFAN during their live broadcast from Giants camp. “I’m 100 percent, man. I’m good to go.”
The status of Jason Pierre-Paul’s health has often been uncertain, and even daunting, at times this off-season. Big blue’s star defensive end underwent a microdiscetomy in June to repair a herniated disc in his back.
Rumors have circulated this off-season about Pierre-Paul starting the 2013 season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
GM Jerry Reese overruled these rumors when he told the WFAN radio show that Pierre-Paul is ahead of schedule with his recovery, and is expected to be ready for Week 1.
Update - 11:52 a.m.: JPP, in talking with reporters, wasn't as positive as his GM was about playing in Week 1.
"I'm going to go out there when I'm comfortable," Pierre-Paul said. (Click down arrow for full transcript)
[sny-accordion title="Transcript JPP 8.6.13" ]Q: It seemed that the general manager indicated that you expect to be ready for game one this year, is that a change?A: Like I said, I’m sitting on the field day by day, I’m rehabbing, I don't know when my return will be, but at the end of he day I’m going to go out there when I feel comfortable.
Q: Compared to a couple weeks ago are you better?A: Yeah I’m doing better each day so that's a good thing. The trainer sees it and everybody else sees it.
Q: You were able to stand on the practice field the other day to watch practice I think for the first time, I mean that has to be a forward step in your progress I would think, right?A: Actually I’ve been out there before, probably in the (field house) with everybody. I’ve been watching practice over there and I can’t really do anything, all I can do is get mental reps or whatever, and that’s all I can do.
Q: But just standing on the grass field, which can be uneven-A: I’ve been doing some running lately, and it feels good. Like I said, it’s basically day by day, you know, at the end of the day it’s if I come back quick or I just stay and just relax and see where I’m at with it.
Q: What is the last hurdle that you have to clear for the doctors to say ‘okay, now he can start practicing’?A: It’s not really the doctor’s decision. I say it’s not the doctor’s decision anymore because it’s basically on me. It all depends on my recovery and how my back feels and if I can go out there and practice with the team but I’m going to have to get a couple practices in before, IF, I decide to come back before the first game. I already know I’m going to be taking on two guys, double team, triple team maybe so, I’m not in a rush to come back and put myself in that position.
Q: So what question do you have to answer yourself before you then tell coach and the trainers ‘I want to practice today’?A: It’s basically how my back feels, you know? And right now I’m still at that stage that I know I can’t go out there and perform. So, I’m not going to try and rush back. Like I say, it’s up to me and my recovery is coming along and right now my recovery is coming along perfectly fine. I’m getting better every day, like I said, and it’s basically up to me, you know? When I feel comfortable going out there and taking on blocks and ready to run like the wind again, that’s when I’ll be out there. But right now, I’m just taking it day by day and taking it easy.
Q: Do you have a number in your mind of how many practices you’ll need-A: I don't know, I don’t know. That’s the part of my recovery too. I’m in there consistently working on my abs, my back, restricted on my back, that’s all I can do, and sit in the meetings and look at, you know, my D-linemen. It’s boring sometimes, but at the end of the day you’ve got to, it’s the mental part of being there that gets you going.
Q: Is it important for you to be back for week one-A: No, that’s not important to me at all. I already know that the D-Line that we have here is going to go out and get the job done. And I’m very confident that Kiwi, Tuck, all them get the job done and that’s all it takes. They don’t really need me out there right now and I’m just going to focus on my recovery. Everything will be all right.
Q: What exactly are you feeling or not feeling that’s keeping you off the practice field?A: There’s only been eight weeks, and the recovery time is probably like, two, three months (…) It’s just not right if I go out there because I’m going to mess something up, you know what I’m saying? Like I said, it’s up to me, and I don’t feel comfortable going out there, my body’s not right for that right now, you know?
Q: So are you surprised at all, maybe, that Jerry said that this morning that you would be back for week one?A: Not at all. At the end of the day, you know that your coaches and general manager and head coach want you out there, to help the team out, but, it’s all on me, like I said. I’m focused on coming back 100%, not being like 85%, you know what I'm saying? And I know I’m going to be a big factor of the defense, so I’d rather come back 100% and that’s it.[/sny-accordion]
JPP is not contradicting Jerry Reese's assessment that he'll be ready for Week 1 in Dallas. He's simply stating that it's still his choice as to when he comes back. All indications point to him being on the 53-man roster on August 31, when the final cuts are due.
He is doing some running (see below) and appears to be on schedule, but the Giants have more depth at DE than most people realize right now. Justin Tuck is in top physical shape. Mathias Kiwanuka is looking good at his natural position and rookie Damontre Moore is further along than expected. JPP stated they can handle the DE duties until he returns, which sounds like might be Week 2 or 3 instead of Week 1.