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Jason Pierre-Paul 'Injury Coulda Happened to Anyone' ... Says NFL Star

7/10/2015 10:23 AM PDT

Jason Pierre-Paul -- 'Injury Coulda Happened to Anyone' ... Says NFL Star

One of Jason Pierre-Paul's ex-teammates is begging the NFL star to IGNORE THE HATERS after his 4th of July fireworks injury ... insisting it "could have happened to anyone."

JPP hasn't exactly received a ton of support after mangling his hand in the explosion -- with people calling him a buffoon, irresponsible and reckless. 

But Chicago Bears defensive back Antrel Rolle -- a 3-time Pro Bowler who played with JPP on the Giants -- says he's still got Jason's back ... and he's just glad Jason wasn't killed. 

"I am just happy that my boy has his health. This was a freakish accident that could have happened to anyone," Rolle said.

"Every year I do fireworks for the kids in my family and some of the kids in the neighborhood. Have been doing it for 7 years strong already. So my point is this could have happened to anyone including myself."

Rolle continued, "Many people are going to doubt, hate, speculate and that's all cool and they are well within their rights. But one thing they can't do is define who you are as a person and put a limit on your will and determination!"

"So do you homeboy becuz the reals one will always be here no matter what. #BandofBrothers"

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