EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ- Jason Pierre-Paul didn't practice again today and seems likely to miss his third consecutive game Sunday because of a shoulder injury. But he insists he is open to the possibility of returning to the field this season.
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"I'm never going to shut it down," Pierre-Paul said. "If I could go, I'm going to go. There's no point in shutting it down. If I could help my team win football games, that's what I'm going to do. It's bad enough I missed two games already, I feel like I missed four games or six. It sucks just watching your teammates play without you, but it's part of the game. You never know when you're going to get hurt."
The two-time Pro Bowler hurt his shoulder in a victory over Oakland on Nov. 10. He finished the game and played in the next two (and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting a pass and returning it 24 yards for a touchdown vs. Green Bay). But he missed the last two games, the first in his four-year career he did not suit up for.
The 5-8 Giants have three games remaining, beginning at home against 11-2 Seattle. They have been eliminated from the playoffs, so Pierre-Paul isn't needed for a postseason push. That would seem to indicate he will not return this season. But JPP won't concede that point.
Pierre-Paul was asked if there's a difference between sitting out the last three games and simply being smart about his injury.
"Yeah, being smart, that's a good way to put it," he said. "But shutting it down is not going out there and playing at all, going on IR, that's shutting it down. If I feel like I could contribute to the team, I'm going to go out there.
"Your team is out there sacrificing, practicing every day. You just want to be a part of that, period. That's the value right there, do it for your brothers. I'm not doing it for me, I'm still part of the team and still coming in and going to work and getting rehab done and trying to do everything to take care of this situation to be out there with my teammates."
NOTES*Rookie safety Cooper Taylor (hamstring) also missed practice. Cornerback Corey Webster (ankle), who was limited yesterday, did not practice today.
*Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (shin/ankle) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee), neither of whom practiced yesterday, were limited today.
*Last week in San Diego, Trumaine McBride played left cornerback in the first half and Jayron Hosley manned the position in the second half. So who will play against the Seahawks?
"We're going to evaluate again this week at the end of the week," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "Both guys will probably play. I don't know exactly. We haven't decided who is going to start or all that type of thing right now, but both guys are competing for the job. It's still McBride's job to lose, so both guys will play."
*Seattle leads the NFL in punt coverage. Only 13 of Jon Ryan's punts have been returned this season, for an average of 1.2 yards.
"They're very good," said Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn. "They've given up 15 yards because the punter does a good job with the hang and distance.
"After Week 7, Tennessee was the last game, they went to an all Aussie punt. So obviously that doesn't travel as far, but he's got the ability, which most guys don't, to kick it with enough hang time and enough distance to be able to get away with doing it all over the field.
*The Giants are 5-8, while Seattle is 11-2. This is the first time the Giants are playing a team with at least six more victories than them at the time of the game since Dec. 18, 2004, when the 5-8 Giants hosted the 12-1 Steelers. Pittsburgh won, 33-30.
*Tom Coughlin, 67, and Seattle's Pete Carroll, 62, are the NFL's two oldest head coaches. This is the first meeting of the league's two oldest coaches since Oct. 9, 2011…when Coughlin and the Giants hosted Carroll and the Seahawks. Seattle won, 36-25.