There was some slight optimism a few weeks ago when we learned JPP would not undergo surgery, and could potentially be back on the field sometime early in the upcoming season. That all changed when Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said in a recent interview that the recovery time was looking to be around 5-6 months, via Joe Bucs Fan:
“He’s doing good; His spirits are good. You know, it’s just one of those things, you just wait and wait and wait, and make sure the thing doesn’t displace and not have to have an operation. We got our fingers crossed and are praying for him all the time.”
Arians’ timetable when asked: “I would think it’s at least five months, maybe six.”
Tampa will be without their best defensive end until at least November, and possibly for the entire season. Someone will need to step up and be productive in a starting role. Look for guys like Noah Spence, Carl Nassib and possibly even newcomer Anthony Nelson to get more playing time during JPP’s absence.