Oh, how quickly we forget. What a force, a power, a leader a talent like Jason Pierre-Paul is. For a quick refresher, watch this Pierre-Paul mic’d Up brought to you by Frontier Communications and the Buccaneers.
The beast is back. Roaming the Buccaneers defense like a man possessed. And not a moment too soon.
Another Setback For The Defensive Standout
When JPP’s Ferrari did a 360 on a wet Fort Lauderdale highway back on May 2nd, it resulted in hitting the median and fracturing the veteran’s neck. A big blow for a defense that wasn’t yet out of the moving van bubble wrap and properly unpacked at One Buc Place.
We’re talking about the neck here. The nerve center, the holder of the head, and thus, the brain. There were whispers this could be career-ending and those who thought the team should look at recouping $7 million in cap space by cutting Pierre-Paul with a non-football injury. There was much speculation.
A Test Of A Players Character
The former South Florida Bull standout, New York Giant Super Bowl winner and two-time Pro Bowler was faced with a second career-threatening injury. A fireworks accident several years ago, injuring his right hand, a defensive lineman’s bread, and butter. Now a fractured neck, a human’s bread and butter. He didn’t get to the top of his profession by accident. Now he would have to rehab a serious injury while preparing for the 2019 season.
This Kid Has No Quit
There were a couple of Instagram posts throughout the summer: Pierre-Paul in a neck brace. There were rumblings about what kind of time frame fans could expect for a 2019 return, if at all.
Then on August 27th the news that JPP was cleared to resume rehab activities in a tweet by Tom Pellissero. Now it seemed a 2019 return was likely and what good news this was.
The next question was when? When would the 2018 Buccaneers sack leader and arguably Jason Licht’s best trade acquisition to date be back to game action? There was “Sack” Barrett, a run-stuffing defense, but lots of mistakes being made on both sides of the ball by this young team. His leadership was sorely needed.
Back In The Saddle
JPP is contagious. Always has been. A leader by example. Vocal when necessary. The 10- year veteran has shown already he will not go quietly into that good night.
A late-season JPP infusion to a defense that has been stout against the run but stumbled against the pass might have been just what the doctor ordered. Now can the Buccaneers use this infusion to put some Ws up over the next month? Stay tuned…
Photo credit: buccaneers.com