Jason Pierre-Paul is back in the lineup for the New York Giants in Week 9, less than two weeks after he returned to the team on a one-year contract. The Giants had a two-week roster exemption for Pierre-Paul after he signed a contract with the team at the end of October, but he was placed on the active roster by the team on Saturday.
Pierre-Paul, 26, suffered severe damage to his right hand in a fireworks accident during Fourth of July weekend that resulted in the amputation of his index finger and the loss of part of his thumb. The defensive end remained optimistic that he would be able to return in time to contribute in 2015, and after finally signing a deal to re-join the team, he impressed the team with his conditioning.
While reports indicated that the defensive end was participating in practice fully, he didn't appear on the team's injury report due to his roster exemption.
No team enters Week 9 with fewer sacks than the Giants, who have managed to bring down opposing passers just nine times in eight games. Third-year defensive end Damontre Moore leads the team with three sacks, despite not being in the starting lineup and participating as a rotational pass rushing specialist.
Pierre-Paul has 42 career sacks since he joined the team as a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In 2011, he finished fourth in the NFL with 16.5 sacks which earned him First-Team All-Pro honors and he tallied 12.5 sacks in 2014 before he was given the franchise tag in the offseason.
The one-year deal Pierre-Paul signed with the team is incentive-laden and could be worth as much as $8.7 million if he's able to finish the year with 10 or more sacks. While that's a lofty mark, Pierre-Paul will receive $50,000 for every half sack he records.
Pierre-Paul will begin his pursuit of those sack numbers on Sunday against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft hasn't been easy to bring down, with Winston getting sacked 14 times in the first seven games of his career. The Buccaneers are No. 13 in the NFL at preventing sacks.