Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is unfortunately no stranger to accidents. The two-time Pro Bowler had his right index finger amputated after a fireworks accident a few years ago and now a recent car crash in South Florida might be a lot of more serious than many originally thought.
At first without knowing many details, JPP appeared to be fine after he was evaluated and released from the local hospital following a single-car accident last week. While everyone is obviously still concerned for the health and safety of the star defender, the latest news could mean his 2019 NFL season might be over before it ever starts.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Pierre-Paul, who had 12.5 sacks in 16 games last season in Tampa after being traded from the New York Giants, suffered a fractured neck. He will visit a neck specialist this week for a second opinion.
Pierre-Paul, a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was expected to play a major role for the Bucs this season, but it doesn't sound good for the 30-year-old to see the field if he is required to have neck surgery for a neck injury after the one-car accident in Broward County last Thursday morning.
"As we stated last week following the news of Jason's auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger. 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 on going."
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht
If the single-car crash results in season-ending surgery, that would be awful news for JPP and the Bucs, who are also battling contract issues with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy this offseason.
Let's all hope the dominant pass rusher is good to go because another accident like this is not what anyone deserves ever.
This post was originally published on May 7, 2019.
UPDATE (July 3):
It's been nearly two months since Tampa Bay defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul crashed his $350,000 Ferrari and suffered a fracture neck. He didn't need surgery, but a return to the NFC South team in the near future doesn't look promising.
In a social media post, which was captured by TMZ Sports, JPP is in good spirits, but the former first round draft pick is still wearing a neck brace, which cannot be a great sign considering training camp is less than a month away.
Unless a miracle happens, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians needs to prepare for the season without the player who produced 12.5 sacks last year.
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