Jason Pierre-Paul says he will play Sunday despite a groin injury and that players from both teams should be on the lookout for him.
After a game against the Packers in which Pierre-Paul thought “poor tackling” was the biggest culprit for the defense, particularly on third down, the defensive end will be running around the field with reckless abandon in an effort to fix the matter. Even, he said, if that means he has to take out a few of his own guys.
“You just gotta do it, man,” he said of the most essential element of defense. “You can’t count on the guy making the tackle in front of you. I’ll start with myself. I feel like I’m just going to go full speed and tackle. If that means there is friendly fire on my guy, then that’s what I gotta do. I try not to do that because I know I’ll lay a big hit on them, but if that’s what I gotta do, that’s what I’ll do just to make sure that tackle gets made.”
The Giants allowed the Packers to convert nine of their 19 third downs, including three of at least 10 yards.
“The coaches can’t be out there to tackle for us, we have to do that, like I say, starting with myself,” Pierre-Paul said. “I have to make sure that tackle’s secure. If another guy has him, I gotta wrap up just to make sure. We have to do a better job tackling, and I think that will take place in this game on Sunday.”
As for his injury, Pierre-Paul was limited in Thursday’s practice after missing Wednesday’s workout.
“There’s no question I’ll be out there [Sunday],” he said.
Odell’s new role?
If Dwayne Harris (toe) is unable to return punts Sunday, his replacement could be a guy who special teams coordinator Tom Quinn flatly said would be “all right” at the job: Odell Beckham Jr.
“He did it a couple of years ago when he was a rookie and he did a good job,” Quinn said Thursday. “He would do good. He’s got good catch mechanics and can get started quickly. He’d be all right.”
The Giants have other options as well. Bobby Rainey and Sterling Shepard are possibilities. But no one would create the kind of excitement that Beckham could bring to the job.
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) was limited and Eli Apple (groin) worked on the side Thursday. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said he remains hopeful both can play Sunday . . . RB Rashad Jennings expressed his highest optimism yet about returning from a thumb injury that has cost him three games. “We’re rockin’ this week,” he said after a second straight day of being limited in practice . . . LB Devon Kennard cleared the concussion protocol; S Nat Berhe remains in the program . . . S Darian Thompson no longer is wearing a protective boot on his injured foot but still is considered week-to-week as he works on strengthening the area.