New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul's Back Surgery Team's Biggest Injury

Pierre-Paul is Playing, but Has Not Resembled the Feared Pass-Rusher He Used to Be

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COMMENTARY | Which injury has been the most costly for the New York Giants this season? At 0-4, you can point to a lot of reasons for the Giants' awful start. Key injuries are a part of the issue.

The Giants lost starting safety Stevie Brown to a season-ending knee injury. Middle linebacker Dan Connor and fullback Henry Hynoski have gone on IR since the season began. The offensive line has suffered injuries to veterans Chris Snee, David Baas and David Diehl.

The injury that has cost the Giants the most this season might, however, actually be to a player who has been on the field for all four games so far.

Jason Pierre-Paul had back surgery during the offseason, and still does not look like himself. JPP had an All-Pro season in 2011, his second in the NFL, with 16.5 sacks. He was good last season, though not great, compiling 6.5 sacks and admitting during the offseason that his back troubled him.

Pierre-Paul is the Giants' best defensive player, and the only real difference-maker they have in their front seven. So far this season he has been anything but dynamic. He has one sack, 10 pressures and has not made any impact plays in the Giants' first four games.

Perhaps Pierre-Paul is still rounding into shape after missing the entire preseason due to the surgery. If so, the giants' season might slip completely away before JPP is able to make any sort of positive impact.

The scarier thought for the Giants is that the back surgery has robbed Pierre-Paul of the explosive athletic ability that made him special, and that it might be gone for good.

Each week thus far the Giants and JPP have insisted he is closer and closer to being himself. The Giants, however, need to begin seeing the old JPP on the field now.

If the dominant JPP no longer exists the task of climbing out of their 0-4 hole becomes even more difficult for the Giants. So does the future of their once-dominant pass rush.

Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the Giants for SB Nation.

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