Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a fractured neck in a one-car crash in South Florida last week and might miss the entirety of the 2019 season, according to a report from ESPN on Tuesday.
The outlet added that Pierre-Paul will see more doctors this week “to see if there’s hope to save this season.”
The crash occurred Thursday morning, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht confirmed in a statement, and Pierre-Paul was released from a local hospital the following day. The team did not provide other details about the crash, and the Associated Press reported that Pierre-Paul was not cited in the incident. “As we stated last week following the news of Jason’s auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger,” Licht said Tuesday 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.”
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Pierre-Paul, 30, is a two-time Pro Bowl honoree who spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the New York Giants before being traded to the Buccaneers last year. He recorded 12 1/2 sacks for Tampa Bay in what was his most effective season since 2015, when he lost the index finger on his right hand in a fireworks accident on July 4.
Without him, they will have to count on players like Noah Spence and Carl Nassib, as well as some of their more recent draft picks, to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It is unknown how Pierre-Paul’s status will affect the future of interior lineman Gerald McCoy, who was been speculated about as a possible cap casualty throughout the offseason.
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