After fracturing the vertebrae in his neck from a single car crash last week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Bucs defense end Jason Pierre-Paul will elect to go the non-surgical route to heal his injury.

Pierre-Paul has met with both his own doctors and the Bucs’ medical staff to receive numerous opinions on the best way to go, and ultimately decided not to have surgery.

Tom Pelissero also of the NFL Network then reported that three independent doctors of Pierre-Paul said he will be able to heal on his own, and that it will take five to six months, but possibly even quicker than that.

Pierre-Paul crashed his Ferrari into a median near Fort Lauderdale International Airport last Thursday at 2 A.M. He was not cited but police and was later released from the hospital along with the passenger that was with him. After the original report said that Pierre-Paul was doing alright, it was later found out that his neck was fractured and his 2019 season was in limbo.

Earlie on Friday, Bucs coach Bruce Arians did not have an update on the prognosis of Pierre-Paul before this later announcement, all he had could do was pray for him.

“We got our fingers crossed,” Arians said. “We’re praying for him. It’s very unfortunate.  All we can do is just pray and hope for the best, and hope it’s one of those five or six month things, and you go from there.”

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Obviously, it’s good news for JPP and I’m happy for him. But overall, I truly believe this is good news too. Cap problems aside, the team could use his veteran presence and professionalism for this DL. This gives our depth on the DL some extra coach attention during the offseason and still maintains that sense of urgency in case things (hopefully not) take a turn for the worse for JPP. At the end of the day, our young DL gets some great coaching and development and JPP comes back with some great quality depth to rotate with.

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  2. Hope this injury does not linger after his playing days are over. life after football & the quality of it is more important. He does not owe the game anything. Not sure the risk is worth the reward.

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  3. I’m glad to hear he had a choice. When you’re dealing with the neck and back, surgery can often be a crap shoot. There are no guarantees with either. JPP is a warrior.

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  4. Godspeed JPP, hope and prayers are headed your way.

    Go Bucs !!!

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  5. Notice they mention healing time, not when he could, or even if he could ever start banging heads again.

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    • Why the thumbs down? A legitimate question from a football standpoint – obviously great news for JPP on a personal level, but all the fans who talk about football being a business, cost vs. value, etc., the Bucs still have to make a choice. Do you keep a man on the roster in the hopes that he comes back for the last 4-6 games as Ron suggested just to “mentor” younger players? He won’t be able to show techniques, work out to keep in football shape and be in the locker room and meetings to assist? I wonder what the pundits on this board would do if it was a question regarding McCoy, Smith, Jensen, “Beckwith” etc. Based on a team coming off a 5-11 season, business wise it would probably be more prudent to put him on the not-football/injury list to free up CAP, hope he can come back this year and the Bucs record is heavily tilted on the victory side where there is a good reason to continue to pay him full salary – don’t forget this is also a disc injury (reportedly) that will prohibit most weight training of any kind in the interim or until the latter part of recovery. Maybe they wait until July to see how he heals, but surgery vs. non-surgery regardless, there is a lot of money to bring a second tier replacement, finish signing your rookie class, and be able to cover McCoy’s cost to make other teams make a serious offer or keep him if that is what Licht/Arians decides and/or free up Cap to prepare for the first 10+ games.

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  6. Thank God! Although I doubt he’ll be ready to suit up week 1, at least this sounds like he’ll be available for most of the season, and it’ll give some younger guys a chance to shine for any games he misses.

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    • Uh, even five weeks (most optimistic) puts us into October and six mid-November. Again not counting that weight lifting puts tremendous strain on the neck and back (especially the poundage and reps these guys do). How long before he can put back on the potential 10-15 lbs of pure muscle he will lose during the first 3-4 months.

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  7. @surferdudes you are correct. They need to be cautious and see how he heals and then slowly ease him back in.

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  8. Any injury involving the neck is serious. I don’t see JPP risking playing this season. He might but theres an awful lot of head banging going on in his profession. Ok Jason Licht, lets see you shine (for a change). Ansah/Perry/Wilkerson and Hayes are still available on the free Agency market. And teams will be cutting players due to salary cap situations. Find us A DE. You did ok with Nassir. find us another one. Turn lemons into lemonade. Lets go Bucs! Turn this defense around…this year.

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    • Good post – unless I’m missing something Evans will be here for another 3-4 years minimum barring injury trade – why haven’t the Bucs converted at least half his salary for this year, if not all but league minimum, and spread it out 3-4 years? Understand why the Bucs front load contracts as not to have a lot of dead cap if the players don’t work out, but isn’t sound cap management a combination of both? Over 2/3 of the team will be a free agent of some kind or can be cut for nothing after this year, must be 2-3 that are keepers?

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  9. Five to six months and I don’t see how you can rehab a fractured neck playing football/
    That doesn’t put him on the field, if everything goes right, until the beginning of October with no tune up games.
    I think it’s time to cut McCoy and say goodbye to both McCoy and JPP and sign the best DL who can play in a 3-4.
    Neither of these two guys have played in a 3-4 and we got JPP last year because the Giants were moving to a 3-4 and didn’t think JPP could play in a 3-4.
    Better to rip the band aid off now. Cutting both players would give us and extra 12.5 million to spend from what little I know about JPP”s salary camp ramifications due to his injury.

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    • Both the 3-4 and the 4-3 will require a 3-technique, so McCoy’s status should be determined by the coach/GM and as Vea, though looking good late may have the talent, he has yet to do it at the NFL level as he lined up at nose all year. JPP has not played linebacker – being required to drop into coverage, play the pass more and tackle TE’s and receivers was always going to be a consideration. Whether you keep both or cut both won’t be the determining factor in the W/L column either way, it will still come down to having a run game, not regressing in the passing game, and going from 29th or 30th to mid teens in defense. A DE/Linebacker and 3 technique won’t make the difference. Have until July/August to work it out.

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  10. We all wish him best first of all, neck injury is serious more serious than football.
    Maybe he will play in 2019 maybe he won’t but what will Bucs do? I can not believe a Doctor will clear him , A Dr should take the safe route when dealing with neck , If he plays and hurts his neck that Dr reputation is on line.
    If Bucs do not cut him they will pay him his contract even if he does not play.
    More tough choices for Licht

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    • Totally agree – I would always go the non-surgery move first and see what happens – if they put him on the pup as they pay for only when he plays, as well as the non-football related designation which would save them the entire salary portion of the cap hit. Since the bonus was already paid, the specific contract will dictate (as well as NFL policy I’m sure) whether they get Cap relief on the bonus also as they may have some type of insurance that would cover or the contract may even specify. Either way they would retain his rights so I doubt any owner would want to pay.

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  11. I would agree with those saying that it’s doutbtful JPP plays this year. Once you factor in conditioning time after the, lets say 4 months healing time (very optimistic timeline), that puts us mid-way into the season. Would he even play? This is probably his last yeat here due to this injury. Would he want to risk his neck (yeah, bad pun intended) if he envisions continuing to play for a few more years? Why not just fully heal and come back in 2020? I think JPP is putting aside concerns about his non-football future and thinking about playing for his next contract. I don’t blame. He’s a professional football player, it’s what he knows. From the Bucs / team point of view, would we want to pay his full salary for, perhaps, if we’re lucky, 8 games (not even throwing in the variable of level of play – lets face it, the guy has a broken neck!!!!!). Should we cut him and take that salary to find additional DL help? I don’t know. What’s out there (or will be out there) that’s any good. To paraphrase Bowles, these decisions are above my paygrade. It’s time for Licht and Arians to really zone in and make the right call.

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  12. Great! He’ll return just in time for our play-off push in November.

    My guess is he’ll go on the reserve, non-football injury list just like Beckwith, will not count against the salary cap that some folks obsess about and we can sign the rest of the draftees.

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  13. Whatever happens, I’m sure he’ll get his full paycheck this year, and never contribute. Another failed Jason Licht move.

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  14. For his long term health this sounds like the best option, always prefer healing versus cutting. A neck injury though, should anyone really expect a guy to subject himself to the violence of the NFL less than a year from the accident? I’m sure he’ll do everything he can, but really should give it a year.

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  15. Sounds doubtful this year. The guy is tough though Dr may clear him to play October, but if you don’t put him on non football injury and just give up on season and he doesn’t come back….bad situation for sure.

    I frigging love they guy he plays harder than anyone else on defense, but going to 3-4 and all things factored in it may be time to cut him and move on. The Giants had cap issues so him playing in 3-4 wasn’t the whole issue with them trading him to us. Bottom line we need another DE now not in October.

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  16. I just hope he heals. The football part is secondary.

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  17. First time me and fredster agree 100% a very rare occasion

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  18. surferdudes,I’m not a big fan of Licht’s anymore but it gets a little tiresome and annoying listening to some of you clowns out here complaining about him when a player gets injured.
    Unless you want to give him your crystal ball, you and the other fortune tellers need to give it a rest.

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  19. I’d be really surprised if JPP plays this season. Oh well next man up!!

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