By Tim Peterson
Sometimes the injuries suffered off the field are worse than the ones on. Owners and coaches always cringe when they hear one of their players was hurt while playing pick-up basketball, or riding a motorcycle.
It stings when a player is hurt well…unnecessarily. That’s what happened to New York Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul this week.
Paul was injured on the Fourth of July in a fireworks accident. Paul was hospitalized after the palm of one hand was severely burned and the tips of three fingers were burned and one finger is being tested for nerve damage. The injuries are not believed to be career-threatening but could affect Paul’s future with the team.
The Giants used the franchise tag on the two-time Pro Bowler but he has not signed the $14.8 million offer and is not under contract. He could play out the season on the one year franchise deal and then be eligible for free agency again next year. The Giants however now might be wary of a long term deal which the two sides have until July 15 to negotiate.
Paul may have not only burned his hands but himself on this one.
The San Diego Chargers were burned as well as tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 campaign for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Gates did acknowledge taking supplements but was surprised that he took any banned substances. In the future he might want to check what is and is not on the list.
New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson, Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Rolando McClain and Green Bay Packer defensive lineman Datone Jones were also penalized with suspensions for the same offense. Richardson and McClain each got four games and Jones one. It’s the second time this off season that the Cowboys have been hit. Defensive end Greg Hardy was suspended earlier this year for ten games for violation of the personal conduct policy.
On top of all that the Cowboys are currently in negotiations to try to lock Dez Bryant into a long term deal.
Former Detroit Lions great and Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders passed away last week at the age of 68. Some called the former tight end “Mr. Lion” as he spent more than half of a century with the team as a player, coach, scout and announcer. Sanders was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007.
Terrelle Pryor will have another shot at making an NFL team but apparently it won’t be as a quarterback. Pryor will be lining up at receiver as he tries to land a spot on the Cleveland Browns roster. Pryor, who has been a quarterback his entire college and professional career described his role on the Brows as a “slasher” similar to that of former Pittsburgh Steelers QB/RB/WR Kordell Stewart. But Browns’ officials confirmed he would be a receiver. Pryor was released by the Bengals on June 18.
If Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ever tires of the NFL grind he can give baseball a shot. He has been offered a minor league contract by the Rockland Boulders- an Independent Can-Am league team in New York.
Word out of Oakland is that Trent Richardson has shed some weight that hindered him in Indianapolis and has been hitting the holes with a burst. Assistant Coach Mike Tice told reporters that he expects Richardson and Roy Helu, who came in from Washington, to give the Raiders running game a boost.
As of now former Azusa Pacific running Terrell Watson is still on the Cincinnati Bengals roster and has a good shot to make the squad. The Bengals also have backs Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill and James Wilder Jr. on the roster as well but the versatile Watson can play other positions as well as special teams. Watson is wearing number 31.
Camp officially opens for most teams the end of July.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com on on Twitter @tspeterson40