Nothing stopped Lawrence Taylor for 13 seasons in which he had 132.5 sacks in 184 games, two Super Bowl titles, three Defensive Play of the Year Awards and one MVP.
He also never lost an index finger and part of his thumb. At least one of these issues should be a problem for Jason Pierre-Paul.
"Well, I don’t think the index finger is that important," Taylor, 56, says. "The most important thing is the thumb. If your thumb is damaged, and I know how it is to have a damaged thumb, that’s no good.
"The index finger, I think he can fight through that. He may not be able to have the grabbing, but you can still slap, slap and swim, tackle. But the thumb, if your thumb is bad, that’s very hard to play with."
The Giants honored Taylor and the 1990 Super Bowl championship team Sunday at halftime of a 24-20 loss to the Falcons, 24-20. The 2015 Giants became the first team in NFL history to open up a season with two losses despite double-digit fourth quarter leads in both games.
Pierre-Paul, who had his right index finger amputated and his right thumb fractured after a July 4 fireworks accident, is out of the Giants' lineup. Pierre-Paul is also missing part of his right thumb, based on pictures.
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
"Me, personally? I think I can overcome anything,” Taylor says. "You’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt, and then you go from there.
"Me? I don’t like folding. I’m going to play out the hand regardless. I don’t really worry."
The linebacker made mistakes in his career. He was suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy multiple times (for recreational drug use, not PEDs) and went to prison. As recently as 2011, Taylor plead guilty to a sexual misconduct charge involving a 16-year-old girl.
Pierre-Paul's mistake is innocent, but also leaving him off the field.
"It is what it is," Taylor says. "You can’t say, 'Well, that was stupid.' It’s one of those things that happened, and now you have to find a way to get around it and fight through it and give your team the best chance to win.
"I would love for him to be 100 percent, but he’s not going to be for a while. Now it’s all about what he’s made of, what his heart is all about, and if he can fight through it and play."
The 26-year-old Pierre-Paul helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI and has two Pro Bowl appearances. In his first five seasons, Pierre-Paul played in 75 of a potential 80 regular season games.
He insists the absent finger is not a problem.
I can't think of the last time my index finger got me a sack
— iamjasonpierrepaul (@UDWJPP) September 17, 2015
"I don’t really know him personally,” Taylor says. "I think he’s an excellent player. I've heard people say he’s the next Lawrence Taylor or whatever. I think he can be in that caliber, but it takes more than one year, and it takes some hard work, and I think … especially with this happening now, I think he’s willing to put in the work in order to make everybody [believe] who doubted him."
Despite all his personal flaws, Taylor received a thunderous ovation at MetLife Stadium when he strolled in during halftime. Bill Parcells, the Giants defensive coordinator from 1981-1982 and head coach from 1983-1990, followed Taylor with the Lombardi trophy.
Win in New York and the fans will forgive you. Besides, no one puts a ring on an index finger or a thumb.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.