Pierre-Paul sits again, but he's not done yet

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
4:20
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Pierre-Paul may play again this season, despite the New York Giants being eliminated from playoff contention.

Pierre-Paul has missed the Giants' past two games due to a shoulder injury, and has not practiced yet this week. But on Thursday he scoffed at the notion of going on injured reserve.

"I’m never gonna shut it down," Pierre-Paul said. "If I can go, I’m gonna go. There’s no point in shutting it down. If I can still help my team win football games, that’s what I’m gonna do."

Pierre-Paul
Pierre-Paul rode an exercise bike on the sideline during the portion of Thursday's practice open to the media. Afterward he said his shoulder is "getting better, day by day." But when asked about his status for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, he responded, "I don't know yet."

On the bright side, he also said his shoulder will not require surgery in the offseason, just rest.

It's been a disappointing season for Pierre-Paul, who has just two sacks, two years removed from finishing fourth in the league with 16.5. The Giants as a team are second-to-last in sacks with 25, behind only the Jacksonville Jaguars (23).

Pierre-Paul missed most of training camp recovering from back surgery, returned for Week 1, but never got on track. He also suffered a knee injury in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and then injured his shoulder in Week 10 against the Oakland Raiders. He played through those two injuries before finally sitting out the past two weeks -- the first two missed games of his four-year NFL career.

There's little sense in playing a banged-up Pierre-Paul in the final three games of the season, with the Giants having nothing on the line save for pride. Rookie defensive end Damontre Moore, who has shown flashes of potential on special teams, has gotten 32 defensive snaps the past two weeks with Pierre-Paul out. Why not continue to feed Moore more game experience?

That said, Pierre-Paul is saying and doing the right things at this point. He talked about "doing it for your brothers" on Thursday and trying to set a good example, showing no quit.

The bottom line is, the Giants desperately need a healthy and productive Pierre-Paul next season -- the guy who posted 16.5 sacks in 2011, not the guy who has 8.5 combined in 2012 and 2013.

"I’m not ready to shut it down yet," Pierre-Paul reiterated. "It’s not my call or whatever. But if I can still go out there and help my team win, that’s what I’m gonna do. And then look forward to next season and come back really healthy, probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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