Report: Jason Pierre-Paul Suffered Neck Injury in Car Crash, Could Miss Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2019

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 24:  Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Raymond James Stadium on August 24, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly may miss the entire 2019 season after suffering a fractured neck in a car accident.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the single-car accident occurred last week in South Florida, and JPP will visit neck specialists this week to see if there is any chance he can play this season.

Schefter added the "belief" is that Pierre-Paul's injury will require surgery.

"As we stated last week following the news of Jason’s auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "While Jason was treated and released in south Florida the same day of the accident, we wanted to ensure that our medical team had an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation here in Tampa, and that process is currently ongoing."

ESPN.com's Jenna Laine broke down the possible financial ramifications of Tuesday's news: 

Pierre-Paul has put together an up-and-down career since the New York Giants selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft. While he's reached double-digit sacks three times, including 16.5 in 2011, he's finished with 8.5 sacks or fewer in his other six seasons.

The Bucs acquired him in a March 2018 trade with the G-Men, and he finished with 58 tackles and a team-high 12.5 sacks in his first season in Tampa.

Injuries have been a factor in his inconsistent production. Most notably, the 30-year-old South Florida product was involved in a fireworks accident on Independence Day 2015 that caused extensive and permanent damage to his right hand, including the amputation of his right index finger.

JPP did play in all 16 games last season, though, and he has not missed a regular-season contest since 2016.

Losing Pierre-Paul for all of 2019 would be devastating for Tampa Bay since no other player on its roster had more than 6.5 sacks last season. Carl Nassib would be the Bucs' top returning sack artist with 6.5 last season, while defensive tackle Gerald McCoy would be second with six.

Tampa Bay tied for 19th in sacks last season, and it did little to address its pass-rushing deficiency during the offseason.

The Buccaneers did not select a defensive end in the 2019 NFL draft until taking Iowa's Anthony Nelson in the fourth round. Because of that, William Gholston and Noah Spence are the top candidates to step up as starters across from Nassib if Pierre-Paul is out. 

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