Pierre-Paul just happy to be alive after fireworks accident

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Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants in action against the New England Patriots during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 15 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants didn’t hesitate in saying why he was thankful on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Four months after losing his right index finger and mangling two other fingers in a July 4th fireworks accident, Pierre-Paul said Wednesday that he was just happy to be alive.

The 26-year-old said he still has a way to go to get back to being a dominating player, but he is happy with his progress since returning to the Giants (5-5) earlier this month.

Pierre-Paul, who had a team-high 12½ sacks last season, has played in two games since making his debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 8. He has two tackles in two games, but has yet to get a sack. He lost one last week against Tom Brady in the Giants’ last game before the bye because of a penalty.