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Giants players react to Jason Pierre-Paul photos

Giants players hope for the best after photos of teammate Jason Pierre-Paul surface for the first time since he lost his right index finger in a fireworks accident.SBMF/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES/SBMF/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES

Giants players hope for the best after photos of teammate Jason Pierre-Paul surface for the first time since he lost his right index finger in a fireworks accident.

DaMontre Moore wasn’t sure what to expect.

And then he drifted onto the Internet and saw the photos of his injured Giants teammate, Jason Pierre-Paul.

“I seen them yesterday (Friday),” Moore told the News on Saturday. “It’s sad. It kills you to see your brother like that, in pain. (We’ve) just got to keep praying for him. That’s all we can do.”

That was a common refrain among the Giants on Saturday, one day after the Daily News obtained and published the first photos of Pierre-Paul since his infamous Fourth of July fireworks accident. Several players had seen the photos of their defensive leader, and all are just hoping he can find way to regain his health.

“Someone sent it to me, but I don’t know (what to say),” offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz said of the photos of Pierre-Paul. “He’s my teammate. I hope he gets better as soon as possible, but I don’t know. I don’t really put much else into it.”

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Pierre-Paul was once the life of the Giants locker room, but he’s become a recluse ever since July 4, almost completely shutting team brass out of his life and barely even staying in contact with his teammates.

He surfaced just long enough to be photographed in south Florida, and he hardly cut an imposing figure in a white T-shirt and black shorts, his right arm in a sling, his right hand heavily bandaged. It remains unknown when Pierre-Paul will return to the club, and the photos certainly show a player who won’t be taking the field anytime soon.

“You don’t know what to think,” said defensive tackle Jay Bromley. “It (Pierre-Paul’s right hand) looks like a boxing glove, I guess. Hopefully everything is all right and he’s healing up fine.You can only hope for the best.”

Receiver Corey Washington hadn’t paid close attention to Pierre-Paul’s status. He didn’t see the photos until Saturday morning.

“It looks tough for him,” Washington said, adding that the team missed Pierre-Paul’s excitement. “We need a guy like that on our defense too, with the impact he brings.”

Pierre-Paul's bandaged hand takes the front page of the Daily News.New York Daily News

Pierre-Paul’s bandaged hand takes the front page of the Daily News.

And until then?

“It has to be next man up,” Washington said.

The Giants defensive line is doing the best that it can to compensate for Pierre-Paul’s absence. The veteran defender was one of the leaders in the defensive line room. Moore said that Cullen Jenkins, a 12th-year defensive tackle, has assumed that role in D-line meetings.

“Cullen Jenkins is the oldest in the room,” Moore said of Jenkins, 34. “And he kind of puts us all on his back. And he has this little sayin: ‘Match me, match my intensity, match my focus, match my effort.’ And we all do as he do. We just kind of rally behind him and we’re following his lead.”

And they all keep hoping that Jason Pierre-Paul finds a way to recover.

“We miss him,” Bromley said. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we miss him. We understand the situation, and we’re just looking forward to him coming out of it for the betterment of himself and the Giants.”

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