Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (December 21, 2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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According to Newsday, the New York Giants remain “cautiously optimistic” that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul can return to playing field this season. Pierre-Paul has only visited with team officials once (on September 7th) since the July 4th fireworks accident that seriously damaged his right hand.

“If he gets back for four games, that would be good,” an unidentified source told the paper. “If it’s more, that would be a bonus…(But) it’s still possible he doesn’t come back (this year).”

Newsday is reporting that not only was Pierre-Paul’s right index finger amputated, but portions of his thumb and middle finger were also amputated and that the damage to the middle finger is more extensive than the team originally thought. Newsday says the team believes the injuries will not prevent Pierre-Paul from playing as long as the skin grafts required to repair the hand have healed properly.

As the team’s Franchise Player, Pierre-Paul has until November 17th to sign a contract. If he does not by that deadline, he cannot play in 2015. Newsday says that, per NFL rules, a free agent can only work out for a team twice before signing a contract. Thus, Pierre-Paul can only meet with the Giants once more before the team decides whether to sign him or not this season. Newsday is thus reporting that the Giants prefer to wait to see Pierre-Paul again until he is closer to being physically able to return.

If the Giants allow Pierre-Paul to sign his current tender, he would receive approximately $871,000 per week that he is not on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List. It is still possible that both sides could negotiate a different financial package given the unusual circumstances of this case.

A sights and sounds video from the Giants’ 24-10 victory against the Buffalo Bills is now available at Giants.com.