Buccaneers' Jason Pierre-Paul out Until at Least October with Cervical Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to be out until at least October after suffering a cervical fracture in a car crash last month, regardless of whether the injury requires surgery.

"I would think so, just to be safe and not rush it," head coach Bruce Arians told the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud. "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."

Last week on ESPN, Arians put a recovery timetable of "at least five months, maybe six."

Pierre-Paul suffered the injury in a one-car crash on May 2 when he lost control of his Ferrari in wet conditions and hit a concrete barrier. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported last month the veteran lineman was seeking multiple medical opinions for his rehab.

According to Stroud, the current plan is to try to let the injury heal on its own and reevaluate Pierre-Paul in late July. If the injury heals on its own, he would potentially be able to see the field at some point during the 2019 campaign. If it doesn't, he would need season-ending surgery.

Of note, he has not missed a game since 2016.

In his first year in Tampa, Pierre-Paul enjoyed his best season since 2014. He piled up 12.5 sacks, the third time in his career he reached double digits, and he added 58 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

Pierre-Paul is scheduled to make $13.65 million in 2019. The 30-year-old has two years remaining on the four-year, $62 million deal he signed with the New York Giants in March 2017.