Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Shaquil “Shaq” Barrett dedicated his victory against Chicago Bears to his toddler daughter Arrayah on Sunday who tragically passed away a few months ago.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured a 27-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday with a touchdown by Shaq Barrett, who intercepted Justin Fields’ pass from the Chicago 6-yard line, securing the win with 2:12 remaining.
Barrett and his family have endured unimaginable sadness for the past four months after his two-year-old daughter Arrayah drowned in the family’s Tampa pool on April 30.
However, as his teammates gathered around him in celebration, the ache momentarily faded and Barrett proceeded to give the heavens a kiss and sent a message to his “ray of sunshine,” as he referred to her.
“I told her, ‘I love you, miss you and wish she was here,'” said Barrett, wearing a heart-shaped necklace with her picture on it.
Barrett has devoted this season to her, despite the fact that it has already been difficult for him to rehabilitate after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 8 of the previous campaign, according to ESPN.
“It’s unbelievable. You can’t even fathom going through something like that,” coach Todd Bowles said of Barrett, who also had a sack in the game.
“To see him go through it and come out on the other side — and I’m sure he still has days — but to play like he’s playing right now, to be where he is right now is unbelievable.”
“I was struggling real bad. I couldn’t stop crying,” Barrett said. “Called my wife, the coaches checked in on me. But then out of the blue, everything just went away and I was able to focus on the game.
“My wife says people pray for me. So I actually felt like the wave of emotions just slide to the side and I was able to actually able to focus. So I was able to feel the power of prayer.”
He said that he believes that Sunday’s unique occurrence was the result of divine intervention as it was the first touchdown he had ever scored in his nine-year NFL career.