EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Pierre-Paul's hand is not in a cast, but in a heavy wrap of soft bandages covering the New York Giants defensive end's surgically repaired thumb, the site of the amputation of his right index finger and the skin grafts that are healing his severe burns, a source said Friday.
The hand must remain immobilized while it heals, which is why the entire hand is wrapped like a club, as opposed to the individual fingers being wrapped, the source said.
Earlier Friday, the New York Daily News published photos of Pierre-Paul with a heavy wrap on his right arm and the arm in a sling. They were the first photos of Pierre-Paul that have been made public since he severely injured the hand in a fireworks accident July 4.
Due to the nature of the injuries and the treatment, the source said, Pierre-Paul is unable to use the hand while recovering. That means he can't lift weights as he normally would or do any rehab that involves the hand, but he is able to work out to a certain extent. The original six-week timetable for his recovery from July 8 surgery remains in place, which means Pierre-Paul would have about three weeks to go before the wrap can come off and he can begin rehab in earnest.
Until that time, and in spite of the public pleas of Giants owner John Mara, Pierre-Paul has little incentive to show up at Giants training camp and let the team's medical staff evaluate him. Both would still have to estimate both how long his hand still needs to heal and how much longer after that he would need to rehab to the point where he can play. At this point, Pierre-Paul plans to wait until the second part is the only thing left for anyone to estimate.
Pierre-Paul has not yet signed his $14.81 million franchise tender, and the Giants currently have no plans to revoke it. But if Pierre-Paul were to sign it, he'd officially be under contract with the team and would be eligible for the non-football injury list. A team can elect not to pay a player on the non-football injury list for games missed, and a player on it to start the season has to miss at least six games.
As long as Pierre-Paul harbors hope of playing before Week 7, he seemingly would not want to give up six weeks' worth of paychecks. So at some point, he and the Giants have to have a conversation about a settlement that guarantees him a certain prorated portion of that $14.81 million based on how many games he and they expect him to be able to play.