O.J. Howard Speaks: “Ninety Percent Right Now”

May 26th, 2021

Rehab status update.

Hey, O.J. Howard is alive!

The last anyone saw of Howard, the former first-round pick tight end, aside from an Instagram photo of him smoking a victory cigar in the Bucs locker room after the Super Bowl, he having a helluva game against the Chargers.

Howard had a 28-yard touchdown catch from park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

But then the bad: Howard blew out his Achilles and was lost for the year.

We haven’t heard from Howard since. Yesterday, however, Howard came out of hibernation where he has been rehabbing and did a spot on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

“Everything is going good,” Howard said when McAfee asked how his rehab is going. “Ninety percent right now. The recovery is going well. I’m just grinding, rehabbing every day.”

When his Achilles went, Howard said he had no clue at the time what the injury was. Some players who have had the injury claim they heard a loud pop. Howard said he didn’t hear anything, probably because his Achilles went at the same time Ke’Shawn Vaughn scored a touchdown and it got loud for a COVID-restricted crowd.

In fact, Howard thought he was kicked by someone and was looking around trying to figure out who whacked him. He learned something weird was going on when he got to the sidelines.

“When I got back to the sidelines I told my trainer, ‘Man, somebody kicked me in the back of my foot.’ And he goes, ‘There was nobody around you on the play, Juice.’

“It was like someone shot you or kicked you in the leg.”

Howard mentioned his doctor for the surgery procedure was “Dr. Andrews,” so Joe assumes Howard referred to famous sports orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is based in north Florida (not too far from Howard’s hometown in Prattville). Andrews is also the team doctor for Howard’s alma mater, Alabama.

(Remember when Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, had an injured throwing shoulder, he consulted with Andrews.)

Howard and McAfee discussed how that injury used to be devastating for athletes. Howard said Andrews told him the medical advances  treating the injury should have him bouncing back to 100 percent.

Howard said his surgery took 20 minutes and he was back home the same day for a recovery period of 6 to 9 months. He’s currently in Month 8.

“I’m running full speed, 90 percent,” Howard said. “It’s going on really well.”

28 Responses to “O.J. Howard Speaks: “Ninety Percent Right Now””

  1. Brandon Says:

    “Ninty”? Is there a number that represents NINTY?

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It was very cool that OJ did not shy away from “the Elephant in the room” an Undefeated Season, and the fact that he talks about it with his friends, and that it is really something that is just kind of understood among the players on the team. Good to hear real and unfiltered words about this from OJ. When so many times players are afraid to be real and just talk, and then deflect hide behind words. GO BUCS!!!!20-0 BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A healthy OJ Howard…….a productive Jaylen Darden…….Gio Bernard……the offense actually will be better….

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    A healthy, productive Howard would be like icing on a cake. Keep grinding OJ.

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    I really.dont hold my breath with this guy anymore.I wish him the best but am not getting my hopes up

  6. Medicated Pete Says:

    Bill Polian said on NFL Radio that he wouldn’t be surprised if Bucs try to trade OJ mid-season if we need help at another position for whatever reason. He raved about Winfield Jr 3 different times (which is unusual for Bill to do that).

  7. Blu Says:

    @tampabayfan if you think darden is gonna be productive with AB Evans Godwin Miller and TyJo in front of him i got a bridge to sell you. Only way hes getting productive is if one of them get injured and thats not a good thing.


    Who cares, there comes a point when a team may have too many weapons and egos start to get in the way. Use him sparingly unless Brate or Gronk get injured.

  9. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Excellant news…IMO this is like getting a real high bonus draft pick.

  10. Miller5252 Says:

    Only reason to keep him is to keep Gronk fresh for when it matters. Other then that…… send him down the road for a pick.

  11. Netwalker Says:

    OJ will get plenty of reps. Gronk will be used sparingly to save him for later in the season. Gronk, OJ, Brate… Who to play? It’s a good problem to have.

  12. rrsrq Says:

    Whooooaaaa – this offense really adding Gio, the return of OJ, a fired up “sneak”, a competition in the RB room, what if ROjO can catch this year, (it all comes down to health, there will likely no drop off in production – we just may have to pull BA back once the team is up by 30 with 10 minutes to go, there should be some games when Darden, “sneak”, “scooter” get to eat.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    Partial tear which for recovery to 100% is good. I had something similar from beach volleyball, no surgery but a boot & daily ultrasound rehab for three months, clearly not as bad as Howard.

    A full tear, total rupture like Marino, is a different animal. No way could Howard walk off the field.

    Very good verification news and as I expected.

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    This guy just seems to be injury prone, most of the time it continues to get worse over time. Its a shame because he has all the size, speed and talent.

  15. Jonny Says:

    If Bucs are an all time great team, they would survive the gauntlet of first four games by going 4-0. I don’t think going 20-0 is as important as starting 4-0 when every team we play is a contender by default in the beginning of the season. Cowboys, Falcons, Rams and Pats all have rosters capable of competing in playoffs, and they will try their hardest to bring it together against the SB champs.

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    Worse job in the NFL this year? Defensive coordinator for any team playing the Bucs!

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    @Jonny: if they can go 4-0, then they can go 5-0 beating the ‘Fins at home (the game I will come back to the states to attend.)

  18. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @Blu Says:
    “…if you think darden is gonna be productive…”
    kick return game my friend. We are not even average at it. Mickens is not that answer. Darden might make us a LOT better. 🤞🏻Just as you point out, Darden is not expected to do much this year as a WR.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    OJ will be back on IR before halftime of Game1

  20. TOM Says:

    Who really cares? Tell it to your next team.

  21. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Like it or not, OJ Howard is going nowhere any time soon, he will be a Buc for the foreseeable future. GO BUCS!!!!!

  22. Blind Melon Says:

    Great segment – Interview with Pat.

    Very enjoyable.

  23. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Meanwhile, the photos on Bleacher Report show Dalvin Cook working out, completely jacked. What a swing-and-a-miss.

  24. SlyPirate Says:

    History tells us OJ will get injured after 6-8 games regardless of how much he plays so use the games wisely.

    I like the idea of using OJ heavily early in the season to save Gronk for the final push and post-season.

  25. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    trade him, don’t think twice….just do it

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    SlyPirate – In that case they should do the exact opposite of what you’re saying and sit him until late in the 2nd half the season and the playoffs. Having a guy who is truly 100% recovered, who can come in off the bench, would be huge.

    Also Brate will be 30 by the team the season starts, and Gronk, 32. Those guys could both break down at any time, which is why the team needs OJ, he was a 1st rounder for a reason and is a special athlete, if he could stay healthy.

  27. Bucsfan77 Says:

    Just get O.J. on 5he TB12 diet and body training program.

  28. BuccoDav Says:

    I can’t help but wonder how long Mediated Pete listened to Polian before he gave his opinion… More than 2 minutes after the break is just brutal.

    That’s tough listening on Sirius/XM…

    give me McCaffery or Miller/Kirwin.