Coughlin: Week 1 return for Jason Pierre-Paul 'aggressive'

With Jason Pierre-Paul (90) out, Mathias Kiwanuka (94) has to step up - Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday that a Week 1 return for Jason Pierre-Paul would be "aggressive."

Will Jason Pierre-Paul really be ready to play when the New York Giants open the season Sept. 8 against the Dallas Cowboys following back surgery this week to repair a herniated disc?

"That is an aggressive position to take," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said today following the team's OTA at the Timex Performance Center. "If anybody can do it, it is him. But I would like to wait and see. And again, listen to what the professionals are telling him."

The Giants have estimated Pierre-Paul's recovery time at 12 weeks, which would make him available for the season-opener.

Coughlin admitted to being "surprised" when he learned that Pierre-Paul, a Pro Bowler each of the past two seasons, would need surgery.

"We were trying to manage it; seemed to be doing a pretty good job of it. All of a sudden there was a circumstance that he was in some pain," Coughlin said. "It wasn't anticipated, but it is a fact now. Surgery is completed and he will do the best job he can in rehab."

Coughlin also said the Giants "full expectation" is that Pierre-Paul will return to full strength once his rehab is complete.

"That is why they did it - so that he wouldn't - he was struggling and they thought they could eliminate the pain and perhaps gain some consistency for the season," Coughlin said. "And that is why the surgery was recommended."

Reports from today's OTA were that Mathias Kiwanuka lined up in Pierre-Paul's spot at right defensive end. Coughlin admtited that "for the time being" Kiwanuka is a full-time defensive end.

"That was the intent at the beginning of the spring and there is no need to change that now," Coughlin said.

We recently speculated on whether or not the Giants would seek to add a veteran defensive end. Coughlin was asked today about the team's depth at the position.

"We have to keep going. We have to advance some of these young guys. And the next guys have to come along. What I have seen has been a day here, a day there, where different people have stood out. Adrian Tracy has done a good job. The one kid [Damontre Moore] who has been sick for a couple of days but he has had his flashes, too," Coughlin said. "We have plenty of talented guys. Let's step up and go. There are more opportunities for younger guys - we need them."

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