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Buccaneers’ Jason Pierre-Paul is still sporting a neck brace

Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers

Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul isn’t particularly close to returning to the field. The pass-rusher is still wearing a bulky brace on his neck, as seen in a video he posted to his Instagram account, per Greg Auman of The Athletic.

Auman also reports that the “plan is to have neck re-evaluated in two months.”

Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a neck injury in a serious car accident in May. There was initially fear that he would need to have a surgery that would knock him out for the entire season, but it appears that’s not the case.

JPP didn’t undergo the surgery, but it’s still unclear when he’ll be back on the field. As of right now, the recent reporting indicates he won’t return until November at the earliest. His injury was a big blow to the Bucs’ defense, which is hoping for a resurgence under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Bruce Arians was hired as head coach this offseason, and expectations are now high in Tampa. The defense has been a disaster the past couple of seasons, and JPP was one of the few bright spots last year. In 16 games, all starts, Jason Pierre-Paul racked up 58 tackles and 12.5 sacks. The sacks were his most since the 2014 season.

Without him in the fold, the Bucs will need some of their young guys to step up. Now on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a major injury, Jason Pierre-Paul is far from a lock to be back with the team in 2020 at his non-guaranteed $12.5 million salary.

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