Defensive end and catalyst Jason Pierre-Paul is a step closer to being back in the New York Giants’ lineup.
The fourth-year defensive end was taken off the physically unable to perform list Monday and returned to the practice field less than two weeks before the team’s season opener at Dallas.
It’s uncertain whether Pierre-Paul, who had disk surgery on his back in June, will be ready for the opener.
‘‘I’m not playing any preseason games and I don’t even know about the Dallas game,’’ Pierre-Paul said. ‘‘I just want try to get better and test it out and see how it is taking on double teams and all that. Right now, there’s nothing to be said about whether I'm going to play come the opener.’’
In recent weeks, the 2010 first-round pick said he played in pain last season.
‘‘I don’t have that pain that I had before surgery,’’ Pierre-Paul said. ‘‘That pain is all gone. [From] time to time it can get sore but that’s not uncommon. I feel good about it.’’
He insisted it was his decision to come off the list, and it will be his decision when to play.
Reed’s status up in air
The Texans expect by the end of the week to have a better idea whether injured safety Ed Reed will play in their season opener. Coach Gary Kubiak said that Reed is in Vail, Colo., visiting the surgeon who performed his April hip surgery to repair a partially torn labrum. He will receive injections in his hip during the visit and then travel to Atlanta later this week to continue his rehabilitation . . . New Orleans linebacker Will Smith, one of the Saints’ top pass rushers, suffered a knee injury during an exhibition game against Houston Sunday that will sideline him for the season, a person familiar with the situation told the AP. The Saints wasted little time in coming up with a backup plan, trading for Niners linebacker Parys Haralson . . . The Chiefs lost tight end Tony Moeaki to a fractured shoulder sustained in Saturday’s exhibition win over Pittsburgh. It is unknown how long the fourth-year pro would be out . . . Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd returned to practice, two weeks after straining his right knee and hopes to be cleared by the season opener.
Arizona’s Cooper could return
Arizona coach Bruce Arians said that Jonathan Cooper, the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick, could return for the final six games of the season after undergoing surgery Sunday on his broken left leg. The seventh overall pick was injured in Saturday night’s 24-7 exhibition loss to the Chargers . . . Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones said he’s fine after spending time in a hospital over the weekend with a bruised chest. Jones says he fell on the football weird while being tackled after making an interception in last Saturday’s game against Kansas City . . . Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams has a hyperextended right knee but no ligament damage after a low hit during Sunday’s exhibition loss to San Francisco . . . Vikings Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton was suspended for three games for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse . . . Redskins backup QB Kirk Cousins isn’t likely to play in Washington’s final exhibition game Thursday because of his sprained right foot. He did say there’s ‘‘no doubt at all’’ he'll be ready for the opener Sept. 9.
McKnight, Edwards cut by Jets
Joe McKnight and Braylon Edwards were notable names among players cut by the Jets. Also cut were former Boston College cornerback Donnie Fletcher and punter Ryan Quigley. The Jets will also be without the services of RB Mike Goodson, who was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Goodson was arrested in May after being found in a car stopped on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. He was charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and weapons offenses . . . Former Patriot Donte Stallworth was cut by the Redskins, thwarting the veteran receiver’s comeback . . . Following his arrest on a felony robbery charge, former Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck has been replaced by Kerry Collins as a TV analyst for the Titans’ exhibition finale Thursday against Minnesota. A cab driver accused Bulluck of taking a $100 bill as the driver waited outside a bar Sunday morning for a paid fare.