The cloak of secrecy surrounding Jason Pierre-Paul's injuries from a July 4 fireworks accident has been pierced. The Giants' defensive end had his right index finger amputated and a major skin graft to his lower right arm, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said he obtained Pierre-Paul's medical chart.
Schefter reported the news on Twitter and included a picture of what appeared to be an authentic medical chart that included Pierre-Paul's name and a description of the procedures needed, including "amputation finger, right index finger ray resection and skin graft to extremities [right arm -- lower]."
A spokesperson for Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital confirmed Wednesday night that Pierre-Paul still is undergoing treatment there but said the family has requested privacy regarding the details of his injuries and treatment. Asked for comment about the ESPN report, the hospital responded with a statement on its Twitter account that read: "Jackson Health System takes patient privacy seriously and aggressively investigates any alleged violation."
A Giants spokesman said the club had no comment on the ESPN report, and Pierre-Paul's agent did not respond to Newsday's attempts to contact him.
A group of Giants officials that traveled Monday to South Florida to check on Pierre-Paul's condition returned Wednesday afternoon after their attempt to visit him was rebuffed by the defensive end, his family and their representatives, an NFL source said. What little information they were afforded was relayed strictly through Pierre-Paul's agent, the league source said.
The league source said the Giants never were told with any certainty the details of Pierre-Paul's injuries and were not told whether or not he had undergone surgery or who is handling his medical care.
Obviously, the Giants have had no input into his treatment and have no idea regarding any prognosis for recovery or timetable for rehabilitation. Giants training camp is scheduled to open July 30, and the season opener is Sept. 13 in Dallas.
Shortly after his initial report of Pierre-Paul's amputation, Schefter posted a second Tweet that said: "Medical source expects him to play this season 'sooner than people think.' ''
That determination ultimately will be left to the same Giants medical staff Pierre-Paul snubbed. At the moment, Pierre-Paul is a restricted free agent. He has until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract. The Giants have given him a franchise tender worth $14.8 million for the 2015 season.
Under the circumstances, it's highly doubtful the Giants will agree to a long-term contract or that Pierre-Paul will receive an offer from a competing team that the Giants would have the right to match. Most likely, he will have to accept the franchise tender to have any chance of playing.
If he signs, the Giants may place him on the Non-Football Injury list (NFI), which allows them to retain his rights without paying him. If he is not placed on the active roster by the time of the opener, Pierre-Paul will not be eligible to play through Week 6. After Week 6, teams have a three-week window to decide whether or not to move the player to the active roster.
Pierre-Paul could avoid going on NFI if he refuses to sign the tender, but he's not getting paid in that case, either. The team has the discretion to compensate a player while he is on the NFL list for an agreed upon amount that is less than his full contract, which likely is Pierre-Paul's only chance to get paid while he recovers.