Houston Texans v New York Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 21: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on September 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Jason Pierre-Paul to make Season Debut at Tampa Bay

One of the most bizarre and comical chapters of the NFL’s 2015 season will come to a close this Sunday, with Jason Pierre Paul finally expected to suit up and play for the New York Giants against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Pierre-Paul has been inactive for the first half of the Giants’ season due to a fireworks mishap while celebrating the Fourth of July.

JPP’s hand was left severely disfigured from the accident, forcing him to wear a specialised glove on Sunday. The unique design seems to be stitched off short of the tip of the middle finger, and will be missing a good portion of the index, or “pointing”, finger slip.

But how will New York’s most feared pass rusher fare as he re-enters a defense that has struggled without him?

“It’s hard [to say],” conceded defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “He hasn’t had a preseason game, hasn’t had any live action. To think he’s just going to go out there and be the JPP that everyone hopes and wants, I don’t know if that’s fair. But we’ll see.”

Game fit or not, Pierre-Paul will be a welcome edition to a defensive line that has failed to sustain pressure all season. The unit’s 9 total sacks place them dead last in the league in that regard, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

In clutch moments with the lead – and the game – in the defense’s hands, opposing quarterbacks haven’t received so much as a nudge while driving the ball down the field for the winning score. It’s a big part of the reason the Giants are 4-4 and clinging onto a lead in the volatile NFC East.

Last season, JPP alone recorded 12.5 sacks in a season many would consider a downturn from his usual production.

The G-Men will need all hands on deck to contain the exciting Jameis Winston, back at home and fresh off an emotional win against the Falcons. With the Eagles and Cowboys facing off in primetime later that night, this throwaway game could wind up having massive playoff implications within the division.

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