The New York Giants will be without their Pro Bowl defensive end for a while, as Jason Pierre-Paul is having back surgery in Los Angeles this morning, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Despite the surgery, Pierre-Paul hopes to be able to return to the field in time for the regular season in September.
Pierre-Paul, 24, significantly regressed during the 2012 season, finishing with just 6.5 sacks after recording 16.5 sacks in the season prior. This lack of production drew the ire of head coach Tom Coughlin who told reporters in March that Pierre-Paul was out of shape during the 2012 season.
Ed Valentine of SB Nation's Big Blue View described the news of the back surgery, "stunningly bad news" for the Giants and described Pierre-Paul as "the team's best defensive player."
According to Schefter, Pierre-Paul is having the surgery with Dr. Robert Watkins, the same surgeon who performed on Rob Gronkowski in 2009 and will do so again soon. In three seasons with the Giants, Pierre-Paul has tallied 27.5 combined sacks in 27 starts and 48 career games.
The Giants finished below the league average at rushing the passer in 2012 with 33 sacks, as Pierre-Paul led the team, despite his down season. Osi Umenyiora finished second on the team with six sacks, but left to join the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.