Jason Pierre-Paul still hopes to play, avoid surgery

Tom Pennington

Injuries have frustrated JPP, but won't rule himself out for the final two weeks ... yet

A 5-9 record and not even the slightest shot at the postseason won't discourage Jason Pierre-Paul from attempting a comeback.

The New York Giants' premier pass rusher has been sidelined for the past four games but refused to count himself out for the rest of the season. Asked by reported Wednesday what the future holds for the injured end, Pierre-Paul fired right back, explaining he's trying to get back onto the field.

'I'm a football player, man. That's what I do.' - Jason Pierre-Paul

"I'm a football player, man. That's what I do," he said. "It's easy for me to sit out and just call it a season, but I've been fighting injuries since I got back. I'm not a quitter. Football: that's something I love to do, and I've got a passion for it.

"It's frustrating, but at the end of the day you just think about it and it is what it is. I'm trying my best to get out there and be with my teammates and help them win the game."

Shoulder injuries have derailed the tail end of JPP's season, as offseason back surgery hindered him at the start of it. But according to JPP, no surgery is required.

Multiple reports have indicated Pierre-Paul would not be able to suit up for the remainder of the season, but according to the end himself, that's all news to him.

"I'm trying to stay away from the knives," he said. "I'm going pretty good with my rehabbing and just getting better from when I injured it. ... I don't know anything about (being shut down). I've seen multiple doctors, but I don't know anything about that."

It hasn't been easy for Pierre-Paul watching the Giants be eliminated from postseason contention and blown out of the water in recent weeks. Eli Manning and the offense were shutout a second time against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, a week after Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers kicked them out of the playoff race a week earlier.

Antrel Rolle said this Giants team lacked heart, but JPP said this unit is a band of brothers, that there was no discord between the offense and defense after the rout a week ago.

"I wasn't there so I don't know what was going on in the locker room or whatever," he said. "This team, we're all brothers on this team, and anything we say to each other -- we take criticism. That's something that we do well. Players like (Justin) Tuck could come up to (me) if I'm not playing good or something and he tells me. ... I listen to him and go out there and try to be better.

"Do you know what it is? It's not taking shots at each other or whatever; it's criticism, and you take it and run with it. That's what helped me get better, helped me to get over that top."

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