HOUSTON -- Before his senior year of college, Texans' outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus suffered a weightlifting injury that caused him to lose part of his left index finger.
So he has a little bit of an understanding of what Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is going through. Pierre-Paul lost at least one finger during a July 4th fireworks accident.
"I only lost the digit on my left index finger ... the only thing that affected me was daily little things," Mercilus said. "Typing, picking up coins.
"Losing an entire finger? I don’t think that’ll impact a player, especially on this level for a defensive lineman like Jason Pierre Paul. He can still be productive. He doesn’t need that finger."
There is a mental adjustment period, though.
"You’ll have phantom pain and stuff like that," Mercilus said. "You’ll probably have an itch on your nose and you’ll try to scratch it with your finger because you think it’s still there. But other than that it shouldn’t affect you."
Mercilus is now far enough removed that he can laugh about it. He's even kept a photo of the bloody finger just after the injury. And the season after suffering that injury was his best college season, one that helped him become the Texans' first-round pick in 2012.