Some Perspective On Shaq Barrett’s Return

May 24th, 2023

Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett.

Two well-known players healing after Achilles surgery were talking about their statuses over the past week and Joe was paying attention.

Why? Because Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett is now more than six months removed from Achilles surgery.

Draft-obsessed fans know all about Ravens edge rusher David Ojabo. He tore his Achilles at his college Pro Day in March of 2022. That plummeted the expected first-round pick to the Ravens in the middle of Round 2.

Ojabo was cleared to practice in October of 2022 (seven months after surgery) and was off injured reserve in early November. The Ravens didn’t need him on the field, but when they gave Ojabo a shot late in the season, he made his mark with a strip-sack of Bengals QB Joe Burrow.

Ojabo said last week that he’s sick of talking about the Achilles because he feels more explosive now than prior to the injury.

It’s just one guy, but Joe thinks it’s a great sign that an edge rusher larger than Shaq was back on the field in seven months. If Shaq is ready for training camp this summer, that would be about nine months after his surgery.

Yes, Shaq is 30 years old and Ojabo is 23. Joe doesn’t know if age is a healing factor with an Achilles, but Shaq’s hardly an old man.

Shaq blew out his Achilles in Week 8 last season. Two weeks later, Panthers star cornerback Dontee Jackson tore his Achilles.

Jackson was on SiriusXM NFL Radio today talking about how he’s running now, building strength and expects be ready for training camp. He emphasized that he’s now “six months post-up.”

Joe soaked all this in and is feeling optimistic about Shaq on this May afternoon.

If Shaq can have a careful but productive training camp and get on the field for opening day, Joe thinks Shaq certainly could start looking strong after the Week 5 bye week — nearly one year after his injury.

28 Responses to “Some Perspective On Shaq Barrett’s Return”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    I wonder if Shaq is being treated with stem cells for this injury…

    I believe Ryan Jenson healed his knee using stem cell therapy and he was able to return to play against Dallas in the playoffs.

  2. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I hope he defies the odds and plays well, but not optimistic. Have to also consider his family tragedy. Nobody can know how a person will react to something like that. Can’t even imagine.

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    A more explosive Shaq would be awesome…..or messy.

  4. westernbuc Says:

    Bucs nation is still praying for him and his whole family. Selfishly I hope he comes back and plays with his hair on fire but real life is more important.

  5. CrackWise Says:

    IMO, his biggest challenge will be mentally. Although, the game could serve as his saving grace, and he could roll out another historic season for us as well.

    Mad respect and LOVE to the man regardless of what he does for us going forward.

  6. Tim Says:

    Shaq is hardly an old man, but hardly a young man either.

  7. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I am sure HOPING Shaq can return to his former glory.
    If so, we can flat shock a lot of teams, with our pass rush.
    But there is considerable difference in healing between a 23 year old Man, and one that is 30 years old.

  8. Dooley Says:

    @WesternBuc & @CrackWise

    Well said and agreed


    I think it’s very likely Shaq got some type of stem cell treatment, but we wouldn’t know until he came out and admitted it,

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    I’m wishing Shaq nothing but the best.

  10. R.O. Says:

    Shaq wasnt a gym rat. He is flimsy and flubbery. He also lost a child. I wouldnt be surprised if he’s not even close to returning and will be a shell of himself.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    I know its a young man’s game, but I’m not sure hitting 30 is as big of a death blow as it once was for athletes. With that said, what is concerning about Shaq is that he was always a marginal talent from a physical standpoint – and can’t afford to lose half a step. But with modern medicine and nutrition, there’s no reason to believe Shaq can’t return at 100% so long as he puts in the work, and from what I know about Shaq, he’s going to do just that.

  12. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I’m less worried about Shaq.

    What’s more concerning, is the marginal talent of commenters, here in the “peanut gallery”

    They seem to get dumber every year. I think it’s called “Dunning Kruger Syndrome”

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Beer Whisperer – He was a marginal physical talent, that’s why he wasn’t drafted. Oh, and there’s the fact that he’s literally said he isn’t physically gifted.

    When guys like him, and let’s say John Lynch, succeed, all through hard work and smarts, that’s something to be celebrated – and it’s not an insult, cupcake.

  14. Max Says:

    I hope he comes back on a mission, rooting for him bigtime.

  15. Jason Says:

    With all the moving pieces we have, I’m kinda diggin’ the week 5 bye week. Just saying.

  16. Ben Harvey Says:

    I’m less concerned about the injury than the tragic death of his daughter. Hoping he and his family are healing, I cant imagine and would hope he takes the time he needs.

  17. ShakeandBaker Says:

    Not sure but I think Joe is the only person in 2023 that think ACL tears can ruin a guy’s career. With modern medicine where it is the only real question seems to be whether it will be a 6 month setback or closer to a year.

  18. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    I think Barrett will be a bright spot again this season.
    His injury coincided with the Bucs getting really bad in the stretch.
    I don’t think they could get effective pressure on the QB without him.

  19. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Some will hate me for this but…

    Super super nice guy but Imho, He’s no longer worth the $ he’s making…he’s never came close to matching his production his first year in Tampa…

  20. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  21. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Hope Shaq reads these comments. Everyone loves ya bro. Praying for you and your family. I hope Joe gets the message to Shaq that he’s got a lot of fans that love him around these parts

  22. Brandon Says:

    Joe, I had my Achilles cut and reconnected at 15 years older than Shaq. I rehabbed like a mad man. I was always way ahead of my rehab schedule and exercises. My goal was to be sports ready at six months. I did it in five and my repaired side was outperforming my other side at that point and declared 100%. At six months, I truly was more than 100% and felt no pain or tenderness and better than ever. Again, I rehabbed as smart and hard as possible. I’m 100% sure Shaq, with all the resources at his disposal, will be more than ready at six months.

  23. Jamesbutabi Says:

    Rooting for Shaq in more ways than physical health. Hope his teammates are a great support system for him and to see him have some success and peace.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    I pray Tommy takes his caps lock off.

  25. Steven007 Says:

    Rodney, he wasn’t drafted? You better check yo sheet.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Yes, Shaq is 30 years old and Ojabo is 23. Joe doesn’t know if age is a healing factor with an Achilles, but Shaq’s hardly an old man.”

    30 years old is the traditional age that the body starts to slow the healing process. It’s when things gradually take longer and longer.

    A simple bug bite in my mid 20s took a day or two to heal. After 30, it took a couple days longer. Now at almost 60, it sometimes takes more than a month.

    I can only imagine how much harder it is for football players.

    I suppose the are exceptions…JPP see!s to heal quickly…but…well…hopefully Shaq will be a fast healer.

  27. Statguy Says:

    He looked out of shape before he was injured

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    Steven – Shaq was not drafted, says that everywhere, except one place where it claims he was a 7th round pick, however go look at Denver’s drafts from that time, he’s not listed as a pick.

    Not sure why there’s conflicting info, but you made me have to go and double check my sources – but he was not drafted.