The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still don’t know if Jason Pierre-Paul will need neck surgery that would likely sideline him the entire 2019 season.
But even if the veteran edge rusher doesn’t need surgery, he will still miss substantial playing time, although maybe not as much time as first thought.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told the Tampa Bay TImes the team doesn’t expect him back until some time in October at the earliest.
“I would think so, just to be safe and not rush it,” Arians said. “And knowing him, he’s one of those fast healers, so. I hate to put a time limit on it, but the earlier the better. As long as he’s healthy.”
Pierre-Paul suffered a cervical fracture May 2 in a one-car accident in rainy conditions on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
After consulting with several specialists, he initially opted not to undergo neck surgery yet it still remains an option. Pierre-Paul is expected to be re-evaluated in late July.
Last week, Arians put a six-month timetable on Pierre-Paul’s recovery, putting him out until December, so even hinting that JPP could return weeks earlier could be seen as good news.
The 30-year-old defensive end, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, led the Bucs with 12.5 sacks last season.