JERSEY CITY - The bottom line is that Jason Pierre-Paul's athleticism can compensate for a lot. Even a missing finger.
"I've seen him do some ridiculous things with 10 fingers," Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich said. "I'm sure he can do some ridiculous things with nine fingers."
That was the consensus among current and former Giants who participated in Monday's Newark Mentoring Movement charity event at Liberty National Golf Course.
Pierre-Paul, the 26-year-old defensive end, reportedly had his right index finger amputated after a July 4 fireworks accident. He was the only one of five NFL franchise-tagged players not to sign a new multiyear deal before last Wednesday's deadline.
"You guys look at it like he's an idiot. No, he made a mistake," Raiders defensive end and former Giant Justin Tuck said.
Added former Giant Rich Seubert: "We all played through injuries. Missing a finger, I'm sure that's going to affect you a little bit, but . . . accidents happen. I can't say I've never played with fireworks, because I have. They're dangerous."
The event sought to raise awareness of the value of mentoring youth in Newark. Tuck mentored JPP during their four-year overlap on the Giants, and he said the two have remained in "constant contact."
"I expect him to have a great year," Tuck said. "His stance would be the only new thing . . . And JPP has huge hands. So I think he'll make up for it."
Tuck was asked whether he thought Pierre-Paul, who had 53 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks last season, would be the same player.
"I think he will be," Tuck said. "I think once he gets used to playing again, then yeah. You can't deny his athletic ability. He's a terror to block. I see no reason why he won't be the JPP he was the second half of last year.''
For the time being, the Giants will carry on without him.
"We would like him to be there and wish him the best and understand he's a huge part of our team," said Zak DeOssie, who co-hosted the event with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). "But . . . we've had marquee players skip camp for other reasons.
"We can't worry about the things we have no control over. If he's not there for whatever reason, someone will step up and have to fill in the gap."
Among the fill-ins are Kerry Wynn and Owamagbe Odighizuwa, the Giants' third-round pick.
"They've really stood up and took charge," Herzlich said. "It was cool to see Cullen Jenkins do some things at defensive end, too. I think they're going to be very interchangeable, whether it's D-tackle or D-end. If we lose JPP for a couple games, it's going to be terrible, but it's not going to be devastating."