NFC Notes: Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers, Kiser, Rams, Elliott, Cowboys

Jason Pierre-Paul doesn’t appear particularly close to returning to football activities. The Buccaneers defensive end shared a video of himself to Instagram recently, in which he can be seen wearing a bulky brace on his neck, per Florida Football Insiders. Pierre-Paul, of course, suffered a serious neck injury in a car accident back in May. At the time there was concern he’d miss the entire season, but JPP ended up avoiding surgery and as of right now the hope is he’ll be able to return at some point this year.

That being said, he’s still going to be sidelined for a significant period of time, and the last we heard is that he’ll be out until November at the earliest. FFI has details on the accident, including that his car “did a 360 degree wipeout into a guardrail.” The injury was a massive blow to the Buccaneers’ defense, which is hoping for a resurgence under new coach Bruce Arians.¬†JPP had his best season in years in 2018, racking up 12.5 sacks. Tampa will need some unproven players to step up for their pass-rush in his place, and hopefully the former Giant can make it back as soon as possible.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Rams cut Mark Barron earlier this offseason, leaving them very thin at inside linebacker. They also didn’t resign Ramik Wilson, who started a handful of games when Barron was hurt last year. Cory Littleton is the entrenched starter at one inside linebacker spot, and second-year player Micah Kiser is “the odds-on favorite” to start next to him, per Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic. It’s a risky move, since Kiser doesn’t have much experience. In fact, the 2018 fifth-round pick didn’t play a single snap on defense last year. That being said, the Virginia product was a big contributor on special teams and the coaching staff has expressed confidence in him. Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips know what they’re doing, so it’s safe to assume Kiser is ready.
  • Ezekiel Elliott got some good news earlier today, when it was announced that he wouldn’t be suspended for an incident involving a security guard in Las Vegas back in May. While he ended up getting off without punishment, it sounds like the league took the investigation very seriously. In addition to speaking to Elliott, the NFL also spoke to his girlfriend, a source told Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Obviously nothing came of it, but it shows the investigation went pretty deep and wasn’t dismissed easily. In other Elliott news, we also heard earlier today that the Cowboys no longer believe they can put-off extending the young running back.
  • In case you missed it, Josh Doctson doesn’t expect to be back with the Redskins in 2020.
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