Encouraging Information On O. J. Howard

May 23rd, 2021

Tight end O.J. Howard.

Joe has always cringed in recent weeks when people boast that Bucs tight end O.J. Howard will be back, pushing the already potent Tampa Bay offense to a dizzying new level.

Why? Because an Achilles injury is and can be a devastating injury. A player’s production upon returning from falls off about 20 percent, Joe has read.

Last year Howard blew out his Achilles in the come-from-behind win over the Chargers in Week 4.

We know few specifics of Howard’s injury other than Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians said during rookie minicamp that Howard is “really close” and looks “fantastic” working out and should be ready to hit a practice field during June’s mandatory minicamp.

Of course, Joe fully remembers how Bucs types said Mollie Hamster looked good running in a sandbox.

However, Joe recently read a story in The Athletic that took a deep dive into how the NFL rehab process for Achilles injuries has changed dramatically in the past decade. Whereas it once took a year, maybe two years to recover, now players can bounce back within eight months.

“The way it used to be 10 years ago is that coming back from an Achilles took 11 or 12 months,” said Dr. Tim Kremchek, orthopedic surgeon and medical director for the Cincinnati Reds. “Now, it seems, the sooner you push them, you could be looking at a six- to eight-month period. It depends on the position you play and how your rehab goes. But it can be six to eight months, which is accelerated by 50 percent. And the results have been just as good.

“The key to that is we used to put people in casts or boots for six to eight weeks after an Achilles tear just to let it heal. Well, they would atrophy, get weak and take forever getting their strength and power back. Now, 72 hours after surgery we’re already doing range-of-motion exercises and it tends to heal faster. So, yes, there is a faster return because of quicker, more aggressive rehab after surgery, and doing the surgical procedure relatively quickly after the injury rather than waiting.”

Also highlighted were doctors contacted for research noted that non-skill-position players (linemen, for example) have a quicker rehab than skill position players because they don’t have to make as many quick and athletic moves.

So it seems reasonable to expect Howard to be fully ready to rock and roll once training camp begins in two months.

23 Responses to “Encouraging Information On O. J. Howard”

  1. Youngbucs Says:

    Had the same injury 5 years ago rehab was grueling. Makes me respect professionals even more. I would rather break a bone honestly my broken foot was less work.

  2. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I was shocked but happy to see Gronk playing every game last year, but no telling if his body will be able to last another 17 games plus post season. Glad to see the O. J. Howard can help relieve or spell Gronk and Brate.

    As for Howard’s value, no telling. He has the physical tools but no proof he is better than the average TE. BA said he was a having a good training camp last year but was unable to show anything in the first 2 games before his injury.

  3. kyle Says:

    no doubt young buc^^^ I think id rather break a bone too than go through an achilles or some type of knee ligament tear.

  4. Architek Says:

    He should be on a strict snap count because he’s VERY FRAGILE AND INJURY PRONE. Talented yes but UNAVAILABLE!

  5. Bucman Says:

    Joe….Who is Mollie Hamster?

  6. Dyno-White ! # 45 Says:

    True or false:
    Antonio Brown has not officially signed pending a physical from a knee scope not done ? If his physical/knee doesn’t pass,we may not keep him officially.

  7. SB Says:


    Doug Martin.

  8. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Alabama – OJ looked vastly different last year than in years past, which I credit to Gronk’s and Brady’s influence. He was blocking much better and made some great plays last year (one handed catch against Denver as example). His historic play is not great but he was having a really strong year in ‘20 prior to injury. Watch the tape.

  9. SB Says:

    Lol Joe!. In almost a decade on this site that is the first time I can remember you having to lock a thread down earlier.

  10. SB~LV Says:

    Well maybe NFL guys get the rapid recovery but for the regular folks it is pretty much the old healing and recovery time. I have a friend that is about 8 weeks into recovery ,cast thingee is gone ,he now wears a molded plastic brace that goes up the back of his leg and under his foot to restrict the range of motion, a comfortable looking device.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    Was it a full or partial tear? That also makes a difference.

    I would not be surprised if it was a partial tear. A full tear, and he’d have to be carted off the field, and I do not recall that happening.

  12. Bucman Says:


    Thats what I thought, only Muscle Hamster.

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    74 Bucs Fan, I hope you are correct. I would love to see OJ exceed.

  14. crazybucs_CL Says:

    ..trade him, he will be fragile forever….we are fill up on that position…it is the best time to trade and get something…anytime you take that decision, is a good decision, in the pass, now, or near future. Just trade him.

  15. Freebooter Says:

    Oj has been a waste. Talent is useless when it can’t stay on the field. All I think about when I think of OJ is how Dalvin Cook was sitting there at 19. Been salty over him ever since.

  16. Joe Says:


    In almost a decade on this site that is the first time I can remember you having to lock a thread down earlier.

    Thankfully it doesn’t happen often.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Here’s what cracks me up…

    Some Bucs fans: OJ is a waste, he can’t stay healthy!!!! Bucs should’ve drafted Dalvin Cook!!!!!

    OJ: Has missed 22 games, Cook has missed 21. ONE game difference. You can’t make this stuff up.

  18. SB Says:

    Bucman Says:
    May 23rd, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Thats what I thought, only Muscle Hamster.


    Yeah but he admitted to a Mollie addiction. Hence Joe’s nickname.

  19. Hope springs eternal Says:

    OJ has been around long enough to show that looking physically impressive does not directly translate into game time performance.

  20. Greg Says:

    With the Bucs enviable depth at TE It allows them to be patient with OJ and his “potential”. However time is running out… Nice problem though!

  21. Wesley Says:

    Woo Hoo!!

  22. Bbro Says:

    Gods Speed

  23. Hodad Says:

    Isn’t he on the last year of his contract? If he doesn’t stay healthy, and have a big year he won’t be back.