-The Buccaneers backup center A.Q. Shipley, who had filled in admirably as part of a tandem of moves to make up for the absence of Ali Marpet, has likely played his last down of football. He suffered a neck injury in Monday night's game against the Rams and according to Head Coach Bruce Arians, it is not only season-ending, but career-ending.
"He had what we thought was a stinger," said Arians of Shipley. "He had this injury back in 2013, I believe. Once we did the MRI and x-rays, it was determined he really shouldn't play anymore.
"He'll be going on IR and starting his coaching career."
The eight-year NFL veteran, whose stops have included Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Arizona and now Tampa (all under Arians in some form or another), won't just be starting his coaching career with any team, either. He'll be sticking with the coach that has taken him everywhere he's been and starting his new beginning right here.
"He aspires to be a coach and I think he's going to be a great one, so we'll get him started to make sure he likes this life," said Arians of Shipley joining his staff.
-The Buccaneers will now have to account for Shipley's absence and aren't guaranteed to get left guard Ali Marpet back this week. He has missed the last three games with a concussion he suffered against the Giants in the Bucs' first Monday night appearance this year. Marpet is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs – which is likely to be the Bucs' biggest test all season. If he can't go, the Bucs will have to make do in a different way that doesn't include Shipley.
The good news is that Arians saw a lot of good things in practice this week leading up to Sunday's game – starting first and foremost with a very 'football-guy' term.
"A real good grit," said Arians about what he saw from the team this week. "Obviously, it was a short week, so we didn't get Wednesday in – it was a walkthrough – but Thursday and Friday have been outstanding. I think the attention to detail, again, is great. I really couldn't ask for any more. Our guys know how to work – they work their tails off – and they do bounce back. Hopefully we'll make the plays in this ballgame to win it."
The Chiefs aren't going to make it easy. They haven't slowed since winning the Lombardi this past year and come to town boasting the league's best passing and scoring offense.
"It just means they're a good team and I think good teams give you less margin for error," said quarterback Tom Brady. "They've had some continuity on that side with that system, with those coaches [and] lot of their key veteran players. That's always important – I feel continuity is the most critical aspect to consistent performance because you have to build on year after year, not just game after game or week after week. They've been in that system for a while – Coach Reid's been there for a while [and] he's a great coach. They do a great job. They've got a lot of good things going [and] they've been tough to beat for a lot of years now, including when Alex Smith was there. They were pretty good too [and] I played them all those years, as well. They're doing a good job and they have some dynamic players. Obviously, Patrick [Mahomes] at quarterback being a tremendous player that he is, they always have an opportunity to win."
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