Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has returned to the field on Sunday during the New York Giants match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The game was his first after suffering from a Fourth of July fireworks accident that caused him to lose his right index finger and parts of his middle finger and thumb.
His return came just four months after the freak accident and two months since his release from the hospital. During the said match at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, Pierre-Paul can be seen wearing a mitten-like gray wrap on his right hand.
Last month, "JPP" agreed to a one-year deal with the team. The Giants apparently carried out their plans for keeping him close to the vest. However, they are keen on throwing him right into action. Pierre-Paul played 18 of New York's 26 first-half snaps against Tampa Bay on Sunday, all at his usual right defensive end position.
The 26-year-old made two tackles and two quarterback hits in his season debut that ended as a 32-18 victory for the Giants. The team improved to 5-4 and managed to remain as the leading club in the NFC East division. New York also got quarterback Eli Manning touchdown passes to wide receiver Rueben Randle and running back Shane Vereen. They had an offense that managed just three Josh Brown field goals after the halftime.
"If it was up to me, I would have never come out, but that's not possible. I just know I'm happy that I'm back out here doing what I love to do. I got a second opportunity," Pierre-Paul said upon returning to the field.
In a corresponding move, the New York Giants released defensive tackle Louis Nix to accommodate cornerback Tramain Jacobs. The latter was promoted from the team's practice squad after cornerback Leon McFadden was officially ruled out from Sunday's game.
The 23-year-old Jacobs joined New York's practice squad two months ago following his release from the Baltimore Ravens. His record includes a total of 33 tackles along with an interception in 13 games as a senior in Texas A&M University back in 2013.
Nix has only participated in four games with the Giants in his second career season. The 24-year-old tackle was the Houston Texans' third-round pick in 2014. He never recorded a snap for New York in 2015 and will now be subject to the league's waiver system. Nix may choose to rejoin the Giants later on in the season if no team will claim him after passing through the waivers.