Jason Pierre-Paul recently took a major step toward recovering from a neck injury he suffered in May. However, the two-time Pro Bowler won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Back in May, the former Super Bowl champion suffered a fractured vertebra in a single-car accident. At first, Tampa Bay feared that his entire season could be in jeopardy.
It’s still not guaranteed if Pierre-Paul will miss all of the 2019 season, but the Buccaneers are keeping the door open for a potential return.
According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the Buccaneers are placing Pierre-Paul on the non-football injury list. This means he can’t play for at least the first six games of the season.
The earliest date that Pierre-Paul can return to the gridiron is Oct. 27 against the Tennessee Titans.
Buccaneers are placing DE Jason Pierre-Paul (neck) on reserve/non-football injury list, which means he cannot play for at least the first six weeks of the season, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2019
The Buccaneers saw Pierre-Paul revitalize his career in 2018, as the 30-year-old defensive end had 58 tackles and 12.5 sacks.
Pierre-Paul’s absence could greatly affect Tampa Bay’s defense, especially since he’ll miss at least three divisional showdowns.
Not having Pierre-Paul for an extended period of time can seriously hurt the Buccaneers. The NFC South is loaded with great quarterbacks in Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
Tampa Bay opens the season at home against San Francisco.