The hits keep coming to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On top of the team dropping to 3-5 on the season after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 27-22 on Thursday night, the team has now lost one of its pillars on defense for the remainder of the season. An MRI confirmed that star pass rusher Shaq Barrett tore his Achilles on Thursday night and will now be placed on season-ending injured reserve, coach Todd Bowles said on Friday. The reported recovery timeline is projected to be between seven and nine months.
The Buccaneers were bracing for this fear to become a reality as Bowles told reporters postgame that "it doesn't look good" when asked about Barrett's injury. Bowles said Anthony Nelson will step in as the starter with Carl Nassib rotating in at OLB.
Barrett suffered the injury in the early stages of the third quarter on an 11-yard run by Gus Edwards. He needed assistance getting to the sideline and was eventually seen being carted to the locker room. He was also seen leaving the locker room on crutches and in a boot. Prior to going down, Barrett totaled four tackles (three for a loss) and a sack.
Naturally, this is a massive blow to a Buccaneers defense that has already seen plenty of injuries. Coming into Thursday night, Tampa Bay was already down cornerbacks Carlton Davis (hip) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad) along with safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (foot).
Barrett is in the middle of a four-year, $72 million extension he signed with the Buccaneers in March 2021. Upon arrival in 2019, he's been a key piece to Tampa Bay's defensive front and has been named to two Pro Bowls, including last season where he recorded 10 sacks. Coming into Week 8, he had 27 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and five quarterback hits.