NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Don’t count out JPP.
There is a chance Jason Pierre-Paul can rejoin the Giants for their wild-card playoff game on Jan. 7 or 8, multiple sources told ESPN. The team is even more confident that the star defensive end can be back on the field for the divisional round, if the Giants advance that far.
Pierre-Paul, 27, underwent sports hernia surgery earlier this month and was initially expected to miss at least six weeks.
He already has missed three games and is expected to sit out Sunday’s regular season finale against the Redskins.
Pierre-Paul, who suffered the injury Dec. 4 against the Steelers, has told teammates he’ll return to the field as soon as his body allows, ESPN reported. However, he has yet to return to practice.
In 12 games this season, Pierre-Paul has 53 tackles and seven sacks. In his most extensive action since losing part of his right hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident in 2015, JPP finally appeared this season to regain the form that made him a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2012. In the two games before he suffered the groin injury, he registered 5½ sacks.
His return from the fireworks setback is one reason team officials are optimistic about his chances of coming back early this time around. Some questioned whether he’d ever play again, and he was back four months later. General manager Jerry Reese called the fact that he returned at all a “miracle.”
The Giants will travel to either Atlanta, Seattle, Green Bay or Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.