Recently Bucs fans had heard the news that JPP could possibly miss the entire upcoming season after a neck injury sustained in an auto wreck. But just how bad is it? How much of an impact will this have on their defense this upcoming season? The short answer is: Yeah, it sucks. Losing any pass rusher of JPP’s caliber hurts, but there are several routes the Bucs can go to rectify this situation.
First off, do everything they can to keep Gerald McCoy in a Bucs uniform. Other than JPP, McCoy is the best at creating havoc in an opponent’s backfield. If McCoy is not an option, then William Gholston would most likely be the second best option. He won’t generate much of a pass rush, but he has the size to play DE in a 3-4 defense and he can hold his own. One other option would be the 4th round pick DE Anthony Nelson. At 6’7″ and 270 lbs Nelson would have to gain about 5 to 10 pounds and gain just a little more upper body strength, but he has a motor that won’t quit and he has shown a knack for getting to the QB while playing at Iowa.
The Bucs could decide to sign another DE off the market, but there’s really no one left worth signing. No matter what their decision is the Bucs, we’ll get through this. Injuries are just part of the game and are to be expected.