Shorts (knee) indicated Wednesday that he underwent his third surgery in seven months.
Shorts tore his ACL, MCL and PCL, to go along with dislocating his kneecap in December. The devastating injury has put the rest of his career in question, as he could feasibly be sidelined through 2018. Not only would Shorts need to recover in full, but also regain the necessary acceleration needed to separate from younger defenders. He was already showing signs of decline, so he figures to face an uphill battle going forward.
Shorts (knee) faces an 18-to-24 month recovery and might not return to the NFL, Joe Scalzo of the Columbus Monthly reports.
Shorts suffered a devastating right knee injury in early December that included a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL, not to mention a dislocated kneecap. The short end of his recovery timeline would put him on schedule to be ready for training camp ahead of the 2018 campaign while the latter end would rule him out for that season entirely. Either way, in order to play again, the diminutive receiver will not only have to recover in full but also regain the necessary burst to separate from opposing defenders. A return from a catastrophe like this would be a gruesome task for any player, but for a 29-year-old veteran whose already shown signs of decline, it seems nearly impossible.
Shorts finished the 2016 season with 11 receptions (27 targets) for 152 yards and no scores over nine games. He also returned one kickoff for 19 yards.
The sixth-year pro arrived in Tampa five days prior to the season opener after a surprise release by the Texans, and it could well prove to be the final stop of his career. Shorts suffered a catastrophic knee injury in Week 13 versus the Chargers, one that saw him tear the ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee. Going on 30 years of age, the Mt. Union product is thus likely to encounter significant difficulty in regaining both the necessary explosion and requisite interest from teams that would enable him to once again acquire gainful employment in the league. Shorts also had trouble achieving separation on a consistent basis when he was healthy in 2016, as he notably went without a reception in three of the nine contests he was active for, and tallied just one catch in four others. A veteran with a solid track record, Shorts was thought to have a realistic chance of vaulting Adam Humphries for the slot receiver role when he was first signed, but then actually was handed the reins of the No. 2 job once Vincent Jackson (knee) was lost to injury. Having failed to make a significant impact in that role and now also facing an extensive rehabilitation, he doesn't figure to be on the NFL radar in 2017 at a minimum.
The move was expected after Shorts dislocated and tore the ACL, MCL, and PCL in his right knee Sunday at San Diego. With his season over, he finishes with 11 catches (on 27 targets) for 152 yards. In order to replenish the receiving corps, the Buccaneers have promoted Josh Huff from the practice squad.
Shorts' knee injury is as bad as it gets and will understandably prevent him from playing again this season. At 28 years old, Shorts unfortunately now faces a long road to recovery as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He finishes 2016 with 11 catches for 152 yards, and his absence figures to offer Adam Humphries (concussion), Russell Shepard, and Freddie Martino more looks going forward.
|12||11/26/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||5||11||152||13.8||22||0||2||0||8|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||5||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||5||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||1||19||19.0||19||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|