Jason Pierre-Paul has been cleared to begin his rehab after breaking his neck in a car accident back in May;
Less than four months after suffering a fractured vertebra in a car wreck, #Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul has been cleared by club and independent doctors to resume rehab activities, sources say. Still a process to be cleared to play, but positive steps after rare and serious injury.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 27, 2019
As Pelissero reports, this was a clearance from both team and independent doctors, so there is no fear of team doctors rushing a player back too soon.
JPP has missed all the off-season activities since the accident up until last week when he appeared on the sideline during the Bucs’ preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last week. And although this is just the first of many hurdles, this is a big moment for Pierre-Paul as well as the Buccaneers.
Pierre-Paul finished last season with a team high 12.5 sacks, breaking the double-digit sack drought this team had been under since Simeon Rice’s 14.0 sacks in 2005. It was assumed he would have a huge role in Todd Bowles’ defense until the accident.
Though he will still be missing regular season games, JPP opens things up even more for the Bucs as we’ve seen Bowles bring pressure from all different directions. Bringing back the top pass rusher from last season will open things up for other players on the defense as offensive linemen will focus to block Pierre-Paul, clearing the way for his teammates to reach the quarterback from all angles.