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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Report- Bucs DE Pierre-Paul decides against neck surgery

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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After seeking multiple opinions on his injured neck, Bucs star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will apparently not have neck surgery in hopes that he could possibly play in 2019.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday afternoon that the veteran defensive end, who injured his neck in a single-car accident a week ago, will instead undergo extensive therapy and rehab in hopes to heal the injury:

Pierre-Paul was injured early on Thursday morning May 2nd on I-95 South near Pembroke Pines. That’s when the FHP says, that the 30-year old former Super Bowl-winning defensive end for the Giants lost control of his Ferrari on the rain-slick road and did a 360 degree wipeout into a guardrail.

Pierre-Paul had a passenger with him and both of them were transported to a local hospital, treated and then released. At this point, it doesn’t look like Pierre-Paul is facing any charges from the one car accident and the FHP said in the report that he was not impaired.

After the Buccaneers team physicians had an opportunity to evaluate him with their own tests and scans, it was learned that Pierre-Paul has suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck.

And, since then, he has been seeking other opinions about whether surgery is the best route and whether or not he would have a chance to play for a second season this year for the Buccaneers without it?

After being acquired in a trade last March, Pierre-Paul led Tampa Bay with 12.5 sacks, an additional 16 tackles-for-loss and 20 more quarterback hits. was one of the few bright spots in a 5 – 11 season.

At Friday’s rookie minicamp head coach Bruce Arians was asked about the latest on Pierre-Paul’s status. He said “all we can do is pray and hope for the best and hope it’s one of those five or six month things and go from there.”

The reference to “five or six month things” is that Pierre Paul might be available by September or October begin play.

Pierre-Paul has already been given $7.5 million of his $14.9 million salary for 2019 in the form of a roster bonus in March. Tampa Bay will likely put him on the “non-football injury” list, where he will not count against the roster. Then, they could potentially, receive some salary-cap relief for this season until, if and when, he is activated.

Earlier on Friday, the Buccaneers confirmed that another player, linebacker Kendell Beckwith, who was also injured in his own automobile accident last April has probably had his career ended due to his broken ankle and subsequent surgery. The Bucs aannounced placing Beckwith on the “NFI” list again, for this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs pass rusher Barrett named NFC Defensive Player of Week

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Off their impressive Road win last Thursday night against division rival Carolina, the Buccaneers also got an individual accolades on Wednesday morning.

That’s when the NFL announced that edge pass-rusher Shaq Barrett had been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week:

Barrett had a tremendous game, or should we say third quarter specificall,  in the win over the Panthers. This as, he registered not one, but three quarterback sacks, in the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s 20 – 14 victory.

Barrett became the first Buccaneer since Simeon Rice in their Super Bowl season of 2002 to have that many sacks in a single 15 minute period. He’s also the first Bucs pass rusher to get three sacks in a single game since the 2015 season.

Barrett also had a sack in Tampa Bay’s week one loss against San Francisco and obviously, leads them now with four of them through the first two games. The four sacks in two games has matched the best start in sacking the QB in Buccaneers franchise history.

The last time the Bucs had a defensive player win player of the week honors, was also 2015. That’s when linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander each took home the honor in separate weeks.

The six year veteran came to Tampa Bay after having spent his first five years with the Denver Broncos. This included his being part of the Broncos Super Bowl 50 winning season of 2014.

Barrett had 14 career sacks coming into this season and is already thriving early in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ defense. The Bucs are pairing him on the outside with Carl Nassib in Bowles’ 3-4 scheme.

He is also the former Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year at Colorado State, where he had 12 sacks and three forced fumbles in his senior season and was eventually signed with Denver, as an undrafted free agent.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians rightfully fearing Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of the Giants starting rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback on Sunday, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians knows the real key for New York resides deeper in their backfield.

That’s where second-year running back Saquon Barkley is expected to be busy, especially early in the game. And, he may very well be the reason or not that New York has a chance to get their first win of the season Sunday in Tampa.

Arians made it clear right away at his Tuesday press conference that Barkley will be a challenge for a Buccaneer defense that has been stingy so far this year against the run:

“He’s got more 50-yard runs than anybody I’ve seen in a long time,” Arians said.  “He’s hard to bring down. He doesn’t run over many people – he runs around them and runs past them. The size and the speed combination are extremely rare.”

The Bucs held the 49ers in check for just 77 yards on the ground in their opening loss two weekends ago, but then, played even better against Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers running attack last Thursday night. They held McCaffrey to only 37 yards on 16 carries, including the biggest moment of the game. That’s when DB Vernon Hargreaves stopped McCaffrey one-on-one from getting the one needed yard to keep Carolina’s final drive alive and hopes of winning the game.

As for Barkley, he comes off a tremendous debut season with a 1,300 yards rushing and another 700 receiving. He’s arguably the best dual threat back in football.

And, with a 120 yd rush game on just 11 carries in the opening week game at Dallas, Barkley followed up with another 100 yard game last week against Buffalo registering 107 yards on 18 carries. Still, the Giants dropped both games and at 0- 2 and have decided to shake it up at QB.

Giants second-year coach Pat Shurmur will try to establish the run early on in the game to take the pressure off his rookie quarterback making his debut.

The Bucs know that as well and looked at stuff to run with Pro Bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh and former first-round pick Vita Vea. Both guys have been big keys in clogging up the middle and helping the Buccaneers stop the 49er and Panther backs.

And if they do so Sunday at home, it will be a big key for a second straight win.

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