Former Arizona Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley has suffered a neck injury that will likely put an end to his NFL playing career
Back in the spring, the Arizona Cardinals were forced to make a decision regarding the center position. A.Q. Shipley, the scrappy lineman who had started 51 games for the club since 2015, was being replaced. The Cards would move forward with Mason Cole, a youngster who actually stepped in for Shipley when the veteran tore his ACL just prior to the 2018 campaign.
Now, 12 weeks into the 2020 NFL season, a more serious injury is threatening to end Shipley’s playing career. In fact, it’s being reported that the 34-year old has indeed played his last down of professional football. Bruce Arians, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who brought Shipley to South Florida back in August, has all but confirmed it.
“He had what we thought was a stinger,” Arians said of Shipley, who was hurt in the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams this past Monday. “Once we did the MRI and the X-rays, it was determined that he really shouldn’t play anymore,”
Shipley was a seventh-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2009. That’s where he met Arians, who was the team’s offensive coordinator at the time. Little did Shipley know how important that contact would turn out to be.
Three years after entering the league, the blocker would join up with Arians once again with the Indianapolis Colts. Shipley would start five games (15 appearances) for Arians in 2012, after the assistant became the interim head coach for Indianapolis. It would not be the last time that Shipley and Arians would cross paths.
In 2015, Shipley signed a two-year, $1.57 million contract with Arizona. He would again be reunited with Arians, who became the franchise’s head coach two years earlier in 2013. Shipley would remain with the Cardinals until December of 2019, when he played his final game for the organization.
It now appears, with the help of Arians in Tampa Bay, that Shipley will pursue a career in coaching. “He aspires to be a coach, and I think he’s going to be a great one,” Arians told reporters. “So we’ll get him started to make sure he likes this life.”