Hall of Fame linebacker and career Giant Lawrence Taylor doesn’t think Jason Pierre-Paul’s missing index finger will be a problem for the Giants’ defensive end.
“Well, I don’t think the index finger is that important,” Taylor said. “The most important thing is the thumb. If your thumb is damaged, and I know how it is to have a damaged thumb, that’s no good. The index finger, I think he can fight through that. He may not be able to have the grabbing, but you can still slap, slap and swim, tackle. But the thumb, if your thumb is bad, that’s very hard to play with.”
Pierre-Paul‘s entire right index finger and the tip of his right thumb were amputated following a July Fourth fireworks accident. He also underwent surgery on his middle finger on the same hand. He has been working out and rehabbing his hand, but is not expected to rejoin the team for another five weeks.
Taylor attended the Giants’ 24–20 loss to the Falcons on Sunday, and was honored in a halftime ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of New York’s Super Bowl XXV win. Taylor said if Pierre-Paul‘s thumb is impeded he could miss a lot of tackles, but that he should use doubters as motivation for his rehabilitation.
“I’ve heard people say he’s the next Lawrence Taylor or whatever,” Taylor said. “I think he can be in that caliber, but it takes more than one year, and it takes some hard work, and I think … especially with this happening now, I think he’s willing to put in the work in order to make everybody [believe] who doubted him.”
Pierre-Paul himself does not seem to consider the index finger a necessary tool of his trade, as he tweeted last week that he “can’t remember the last time [his] index finger got [him] a sack.”
The Giants are 0–2 to start the season, and will face the Redskins at home in Week 3.
- Erin Flynn