After injuring his neck in a car accident a few months ago, Jason Pierre-Paul seems to be progressing well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rejoice.
Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on the active/non-football injury list to start the season; a move which should come to the surprise of nobody after his car accident this Spring. As The Athletic’s Greg Auman puts it:
"“This is the best scenario for JPP-can be taken off the list at any point before final cuts. Keeps options open as he recovers in the next six weeks” (via Twitter)."
This would seem to be a good sign moving forward for the Buccaneers and Pierre-Paul as it would appear that he is on the right track moving forward with his recovery from a fractured vertebrae in his neck. It also comes as a huge boost for the Buccaneers who will need his fire-power off the edge this season, especially if they start the first six weeks with an even or winning record.
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Pierre-Paul led the Buccaneers in sacks a year ago and was the only member of the team to hit double-digit sacks during the 2018 season. He finished the season with 12.5 sacks, the most he had tallied since 2014 and tied for the most in his career. Pierre-Paul also recorded 16 tackles for loss and 20 hits on the quarterback last year as well.
Coming off one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 29, Pierre-Paul looked to be rejuvenated and experienced a reboot to his career after the trade to Tampa Bay. It was quite unfortunate for him to experience an off-field injury, putting a damper on a potential follow up season.
With Shaquil Barrett, Noah Spence, and Carl Nassib as the only other edge rushers with NFL experience on the Buccaneers’ roster, getting Pierre-Paul back will be a huge boost to them and a huge loss for opposing quarterbacks. The Buccaneers also have fourth round pick Anthony Nelson who looks to be a factor off the edge as well this year.
There is still no timetable on Pierre-Paul’s return, but it definitely will not be at camp; there is hope, however, that he could potentially be back with the Buccaneers by the end of September or early October. If he could get back with the team in the first half of the season, it would be a tremendous boost for the Bucs, who are in a make-or-break year.