Jason Pierre-Paul was supposed to have one of his best games of the season because he was finally going to be able to put his right hand on the ground while playing right defensive end.
Well, he did play well. But not because of that.
In fact, Pierre-Paul played the left side of the defensive line against the Jets, lining up against right tackle Breno Giacomini on just about every snap he played. The move had the same effect — he was able to put his outside hand down in a three-point stance, thus improving his quickness and footwork at the snap — but it did raise some issues about that damaged right hand.
Pierre-Paul played with a true club for the first time this season. In the previous three games it was more of an oversized oven mitt that allowed for his thumb to be exposed. Against the Jets the entire hand was bound in a thick wrapping with a ball shape at the end. It was also the largest device Pierre-Paul has played with this season.
Remember: Pierre-Paul was on the injury report last week with soreness in his hand. He didn’t miss any practice time, but the strain of playing in the NFL could certainly be wearing on his obvious injury.
There was a time when Pierre-Paul was striving toward playing with just a glove on his right hand. He started the game against the Patriots that way, but quickly returned to the heavy-duty wrapping. Now it seems he will be in the full club for the rest of the season.
As for him lining up exclusively on the left side from now on?
“I play both sides,” Pierre-Paul said. “It doesn’t matter to me. That’s something I feel comfortable with. I repped it all week. My coach wanted me to try it out and I did pretty well over there, so you’ll see me back and forth. There is no set spot for me.”