The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense will be getting an unexpected lift this week. The Bucs will activate Jason Pierre-Paul from the non-football injury list, and according to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Pierre-Paul is expected to play on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Pierre-Paul was placed on the NFI list after suffering a fractured neck as the result of a car accident back in May. It was feared at the time that he could ESPN's Jenna Laine that Pierre-Paul was "OK," only for another to tell her ESPN colleague Adam Schefter a week later that Pierre-Paul would likely need surgery on his neck and could be out for the year.. There were conflicting initial reports regarding the severity of injuries sustained by Pierre-Paul in the accident, with one source telling
Details regarding the accident were scarce, other than the fact that it was a single-vehicle crash that occurred around 5 a.m., that there was a passenger in the car with Pierre-Paul, and that it was not believed that he broke any laws. The Bucs issued a statement at the time, noting that Pierre-Paul would be "further evaluated by our medical staff in the near future."
Pierre-Paul led the Buccaneers with 12.5 sacks last season and figured to be their best pass rusher in 2019 prior to his injury. The team has seen Shaq Barrett pick up much of the slack created by his absence. Barrett is tied with Myles Garrett for the league lead with nine sacks so far this season. Pierre-Paul could provide a strong edge rushing presence across from Barrett, which could be a big help to the Bucs' lagging pass defense.