What the JPP injury could mean for the Bucs D

Sep 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) rushes during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

First there was the news that Pierre-Paul got into a car accident. Then there was the statement from Bucs GM Jason Licht. Soon after there were some ominous posts made by JPP on his social media. It certainly appeared something bad had happened in that accident, but no one seemed to have any idea of what- until yesterday.

It was around lunch time for most when news started to leak that Pierre-Paul suffered a fractured neck in his automobile accident. A devastating injury not only to the team and the football player, but to the man himself. He’s apparently seeking as many opinions on the injury as he can, but the thought is now he might have to have neck surgery and could miss all of 2019 and possibly even retire.

From a Bucs perspective, it is obviously devastating, especially having this accident occur shortly after a draft where the Bucs for the most part elected to stand pat with their pass rushers. It also could impact this ongoing McCoy situation, as I’m sure Jason Licht is figuring out if he can use the injury to save some much needed cap space, and perhaps get his star Defensive Tackle back in the building. And lastly it could be presenting opportunity to a trio of young pass rushers closing in on UFA and the hope to land a big time deal after a big time season. Expect Carl Nassib, Noah Spence, and Shaq Barrett all to see a significant uptick in their snaps if in fact JPP has to miss the year.

All of this will be interesting to follow, particularly if the Bucs elect to change course in regards to their feelings on McCoy and how they plan to line up defensively. But no doubt, this is a significant blow to a team trying to change the negative mindset that has been hovering over the team for a decade and a half. We wish JPP a full recovery, and for Jason Licht to resolve this bad situation as best he can.

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