It’s every NFL team’s nightmare — a star player getting seriously hurt while doing something, how shall I put this, stupid.
Well, that nightmare has become a reality for both the New York Giants and IDP owners already staring at a less-than-stellar talent pool along the defensive line.
As Justin Tasch of The New York Daily News reported, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul remains in a Florida hospital after a fireworks accident over the weekend caused significant damage to the 26-year-old’s hand. According to Tasch, “Bleacher Report reported Tuesday afternoon that Pierre-Paul had a skin graft procedure to repair damage to his hand but that the Giants don’t believe the player has nerve damage. It is unclear, however, if he will have to be placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list at the start of training camp on July 30.”
Teammate Victor Cruz offered some moral support while speaking with SiriusXM Radio. “I was definitely, obviously shocked just like everyone else to hear the news,” Cruz said. “Obviously it’s not something that you want to hear about a teammate. I have reached out to him; I sent him a text message, but obviously he’s probably nowhere near a phone right now. But I just hope he’s healthy. I just hope everything goes positively and that he’s able to be with us come training camp. That’s the only thing a guy like myself can ask for right now.”
That moral support is nice, but it isn’t going to make Pierre-Paul’s accountant any happier. Pierre-Paul is set to play the 2015 season under an (as yet) unsigned franchise tender in 2015, but there was reportedly a $60 million contract extension on the table. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, that offer is now kaput.
The news got worse on Wednesday. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported, ESPN’s Adam Schefter relayed news that Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated. The procedure was actually performed to accelerate Pierre-Paul’s recovery, but in addition word also came down that Pierre-Paul has thumb fractures that will take even longer to heal.
In short, Pierre-Paul messed his hand up but good, and in the span of a few days his status for the beginning of the 2015 season has become very shaky.
Both player and team are under the gun here. Not only does training camp get underway at the end of the month, but the Giants can’t sign Pierre-Paul to a long-term extension after July 15. And now it would appear that extension won’t be coming, making this a vitally important season for the sixth-year pro.
Pierre-Paul had 77 tackles, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles a year ago, his best season since exploding for 86 stops and 16.5 sacks back in 2011.
IDP IMPACT: Of course, what fantasy owners want to know is how this gaffe affects the IDP value of a player who trailed only J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans among defensive linemen in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring in 2014.
The short answer? We just don’t know yet. Initial reports about the injury were dire, followed by reports that it was essentially nothing, followed by reports that landed in-between. According to Rapaport (via colleague Kevin Patra), the Giants haven’t even met with Pierre-Paul as of Tuesday evening. However, the fact Pierre-Paul remains hospitalized does not exactly inspire the proverbial warm and fuzzies, especially after the amputation bombshell dropped.
My colleague, Walton Spurlin, certainly isn’t feeling them. In his most recent DL rankings for the 2015 season at Fantasy Sharks, Spurlin dropped Pierre-Paul out of DL1 territory altogether — all the way to No. 16. I haven’t dropped Pierre-Paul quite that far just yet, but there’s no denying his IDP value is trending rapidly in the wrong direction, from elite DL1 toward risk/reward option toward ten-foot pole list (as in don’t touch with one).
If Pierre-Paul is forced to miss time during the regular season, the leading candidate to replace him at RDE would be third-year pro Damontre Moore, with Robert Ayers and rookie Owamagbe Odighizuwa splitting time on the left side. Given the latest news about Pierre-Paul, it’s looking more and more like that could be the case, and speculative IDP owners should pick up Moore and Ayers, in that order.
With IDP draft season heating up, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s 2015 player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Staff Writer Walton Spurlin and IDP Senior Staff Writer Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in 2015.Also, for the latest IDP news and player updates follow IDP Sharks on Twitter.