EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are serious about this pitch count on quarterback Eli Manning and other select veterans. Prior to the fifth practice of the summer (and first with full pads), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was given a day of rest.
Pierre-Paul said he’s fine physically. He will be back at practice Thursday.
But it didn’t stop the Giants from holding him out of Wednesday's training-camp drills.
“Jason wanted to practice,” Giants coach Ben McAdoo said. “We sat down, talked about it and I told him to keep attacking every day like he does and keeping attacking it to go out and practice and play at a high level. It’s our job to make sure we take a look at the big picture.”
The big picture for McAdoo is keeping his players healthy and fresh during a long season. The Giants are set to travel 11,549 miles in 2017, the most in the NFC East.
McAdoo and his staff have come up with a plan to try to keep players healthy and ready throughout the season. It involves reading the available data (including GPS monitoring) and making decisions based on that specific day.
McAdoo informed Pierre-Paul on Wednesday morning of his decision to hold the veteran out of practice. On Wednesday afternoon, Pierre-Paul was on the field but not in full pads with the rest of his teammates.
“Communication is a two-way street. We make sure to communicate with the player and he communicates with us,” McAdoo said. “After studying the information and the data and the history of the player, I thought it was best for JPP to take it day to day, do some rehab and get ready to go for [Thursday].”
Pierre-Paul, 28, has played 16 games just once over the past four seasons. He missed the final four games of 2016 and the playoff loss to Green Bay after having sports-hernia and abdominal surgery. He says he’s still rehabbing the injury, even though it’s not something that affects his play.
After signing a new four-year deal worth $62 million this offseason, Pierre-Paul seems to appreciate the approach.
“As much as I want to be out there, they’re taking precaution and stuff,” he said. “I understand it. I’ll be out there [Thursday] again.”
The goal is for him to make it through 16 (or more) games.
“The main thing for me is to stay healthy," Pierre-Paul said. "I feel like what coach did was a big help as much as I wanted to be out there with my teammates. Just sitting on the sidelines and seeing things, I know exactly what is going to happen. And if that person doesn’t do it, it just makes me know that I know the game mentally and I can just sit back and watch and focus on what I need to do right.”
It will be interesting to see when, where and with whom McAdoo elects to lighten players' workloads. Manning is an obvious target, but he has taken almost all first-team snaps (with the exception of maybe a handful) early in camp.
Manning, 36, is the oldest player on the Giants roster. Other potential candidates for days of rest include defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (31), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (30) and guard John Jerry (31).
The Giants have six more practices prior to their preseason opener Aug. 11 at MetLife Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers.