NFL notes: Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul has back surgery

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul should be ready for the start of the season after having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back on Tuesday.

In calling the operation successful, the team announced the prognosis for the two-time Pro Bowl selection’s recovery as being about 12 weeks. That means Pierre-Paul is expected to miss all of training camp and most of the preseason, but should be ready for the Giants’ regular-season opener against Dallas on Sept. 8.

‘‘I’m going to do everything the doctors tell me to do during my rehab so I can be back playing the game I love at a high level as quickly as possible,’’ Pierre-Paul said in a statement released by the team. ‘‘This procedure is going to get my fully healthy, and there should be no more pain.’’


Entering his fourth season, Pierre-Paul has 27½ sacks in 48 games.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

He had been bothered by the nagging back problem last season. The decision to have surgery was made over the past week after the player was examined by several doctors, including Robert Watkins, who performed the operation at a hospital in California.

Jones remembered

Praise continued to pour in a day after his death for David ‘‘Deacon’’ Jones, the most feared member of the Fearsome Foursome and the original sackmaster.

Not only was Jones the main practitioner of the sack in his 14 pro seasons, he coined the term. Yet Jones never got the statistical credit for all those QB knockdowns; sacks didn’t become an official statistic in the NFL until 1982.

Jones, who was 74, retired after the 1974 season, having played 11 years with the Rams, two with the Chargers, and one with the Redskins. Rams stats show Jones with 159½ sacks for them and 173½ for his career — all unofficial, of course. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.


‘‘He was an icon among the icons,’’ commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He was a hard-charging football player and the original sack artist who coined the term. He is warmly regarded by his peers not only as one of the greatest players in NFL history, but also for his tremendous influence and sense of humor.’’

Former Bills great Bruce Smith, the career sacks leader by official count with 200, called him a role model.

“This is going to be a great loss for all of the football nation, the fans, and particularly those who loved him dearly, like myself,’’ Smith told the NFL Network.

Obituary, page B12.

Callahan gets the call

Bill Callahan is replacing coach Jason Garrett as the play-caller for the Cowboys. So said owner Jerry Jones. Even Callahan himself confirmed it.


All of which got Garrett to dig in a little deeper in his refusal to publicly acknowledge a change in the role he’s had since Jones hired him as offensive coordinator in 2007.

‘‘There is no real advantage for us to reveal who’s calling the plays explicitly, and how we’re going to do it, in early June,’’ Garrett said. “We have a plan in place. I don’t want to get into that plan much further than I already have.’’

Jones dropped the first hint during in January that a change was in the works. Callahan, who is offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, had consistently deferred to Garrett when the topic came up this offseason, but finally relented when told that Jones had said the decision to let Callahan call plays was made weeks ago.

‘‘It’s a real honor and a great responsibility,’’ Callahan said‘

Garrett said his refusal to announce the change had nothing to do with whether he agreed with it. ‘‘I’m completely on board with all decisions we make,’’ Garrett said.

Marshall returns

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall returned to practice for the first time since undergoing January hip surgery, saying he expects to be 100 percent for the start of training camp . . . Browns running back Trent Richardson will not participate in any minicamp practices this week because of a lower right leg strain. Coach Rob Chudzinski said the second-year pro is being held out ‘‘strictly as a precaution’’ and should be ready for the start of training camp . . . Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin had groin surgery and will miss the remainder of the team’s offseason program, but is expected to be fully healthy for training camp.

Bears eye Russell? reported that the Bears intend to bring in former quarterback JaMarcus Russell for a workout. The former No. 1 overall draft pick played three disappointing seasons for the Raiders before being released after the 2009 season . . . Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson confirmed that Drew Rosenhaus is no longer his agent. Jackson said he hasn’t decided on new representation, despite reports he’s leaning toward Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports . . . After a three-year absence, Johnny Jolly rejoined the Packers for the first day of minicamp. He’s trying to regain a spot on the team after being suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and doing time in prison following multiple arrests for codeine possession.