Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has announced that center A.Q. Shipley is done for the season and that he has been advised by the doctors not to continue his football career. Shipley, who started this season as a backup center, started the last two games for the Buccaneers and he suffered a neck injury in a Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams.
"He had had what we thought was a stinger. He had had this injury back in 2013 I believe," Arians said, per ESPN. "Once we did the MRI and X-rays, it was determined that he really shouldn't play anymore."
Shipley, 34, started his career in the NFL in 2009 and so far he has played with six different teams. "He'll be going on IR and starting his coaching career," said Arians, who plans to give him his first opportunity.
"He aspires to be a coach, and I think he's gonna be a great one, so we'll get him started to make sure he likes this life."
Arians said announcing the news to Shipley was heartbreaking
"It's really hard.
It's harder than releasing somebody or cutting somebody that's a veteran that has finally hit the wall and doesn't really know how to admit it. But to have an injury stop it so suddenly, it's really hard on him, [and] it's hard on me," Arians said.
But Arians also added that he told Shipley that he is "still very, very lucky. He has all his mobility and can play with his kids for a long, long time." Earlier this week, the Buccaneers suffered another disappointing loss when they hosted the Rams.
The Buccaneers lost to the Rams 27-24 and after the game coach Arians was asked if his system just doesn't work for six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. The Buccaneers are now 7-4 and Arians believes Brady will eventually figure it all out as he said: "He can do anything.
So it's not like he can't do it. I see him do it all the time. He was doing it in September, so it hasn't changed. You don't have a spring at all or a real training camp, it's hard on the quarterback, especially when you've done something for 20 years and then throw all these guys at him.
I think the lack of practice time and everything, and learning of everything, from spring through camp is still showing up."