Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been cleared by team and independent doctors to resume rehab activities in his recovery from a fractured vertebra in his neck, NFL Network reported Tuesday.
Pierre-Paul has not been cleared for football activities, but he can now work toward getting into playing shape with eyes on a potential midseason return.
Pierre-Paul fractured the vertebra in a car accident on May 2 and has been on the non-football injury list since training camp opened. Head coach Bruce Arians has said there is hope Pierre-Paul could return in October.
The Bucs’ bye week is in Week 7 (Oct. 20), perhaps providing a window before the Oct. 27 game at Tennessee.
Pierre-Paul, 30, led the Bucs with 12.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits last season after arriving via trade from the New York Giants.
He is expected to play more as a linebacker in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme.