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Could a hand injury threaten Jason Pierre-Paul’s career after all?

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The good news for Jason Pierre-Paul, of course, was that the fireworks injury he suffered over the July 4th holiday was not career-threatening.

But might the reaction to it prove to be?

Could this accident drive team and talent apart? Could the pulling of a long-term contract lead to long-term problems? Perhaps.

Pierre-Paul refused to see two emissaries from his team, the New York Giants, at a Miami hospital on Wednesday, indicating that there are lingering feelings after the Giants rescinded a long-term contract offer to him. The Giants had placed a one-year tender on Pierre-Paul for $14.8 million, a figure that left neither team nor player satisfied. The sides had talked about a long-term deal that would approach $60 million.

ESPN reported Wednesday night at Pierre-Paul had the index finger on his right hand amputated. C.J. Wilson, a cornerback with the Bucs, reportedly lost two fingers to a fireworks accident.

With it possible that Pierre-Paul, the former South Florida standout, might miss time or have his long-term effectiveness minimized, the Giants chose not to proceed with their longer contract. It has not yet been decided, however, whether it will lead to bruised feelings or a less-than-motivated player.

On Wednesday, Pierre-Paul declined to meet with trainer Ronnie Barnes or “ambassador” Jesse Armstead.

The current concern, say those close to the Giants, is that Pierre-Paul might suffer from nerve damage.

If the Giants rescind their one-year offer, Pierre-Paul becomes a free agent. However, a future team would obviously care about the health, and future, of the 26-year-old end.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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