Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett played a pivotal role in his team’s win over the Bears on Sunday when he recorded the game-clinching pick-six in Tampa Bay’s 27-17 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
After the game, Barrett said he dedicated the play to his late daughter, 2-year-old Arrayah, who drowned in the family’s swimming pool in April.
“It never stops. It’s always going to suck,” Barrett told reporters. “Camera was on me after I made the play. Told her ‘I love you, miss you, wish you was here.’ I’m glad I’m able to still get some spotlight for her.”
Bucs LB Shaquil Barrett had a sack and game-sealing INT return for a touchdown Sunday in the 27-17 win over the Bears. Afterward, he looked into the camera and told his late daughter, Arrayah, he loved her. The 2 year old drowned last spring. pic.twitter.com/QVXfdiNAix— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 17, 2023
Shaquil Barrett Pick 6 (1) pic.twitter.com/bHFmeGYwIW— NFL TD Videos (@NFLTDVideos2023) September 17, 2023
It was the first NFL touchdown for the nine-year veteran, and he finished the game with two tackles and a sack as well. Barrett also shared that Arrayah’s death was weighing on him so much so that he struggled to take the field in Week 1. But he didn’t face it alone.
“Literally, last week before the game I was struggling,” Barrett said Sunday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Then I was struggling real bad. I couldn’t stop crying. I called my wife, and some of the coaches checked in on me. Then like out of the blue, everything just went away and I was able to focus on a game. My wife says people pray for me, and I actually felt that wave of emotions slide to the side, and I was actually able to focus.”