Shaq Barrett Dedicates First Career Touchdown To His Late Daughter

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Scoring your first touchdown is a milestone for any NFL player. But for Shaq Barrett, this one was extra emotional.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker helped secure his team’s victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday when he intercepted Justin Fields and ran it in for a touchdown.

And after the Bucs secured the 27-17 win, Barrett said he drew inspiration from his 2-year-old daughter Arrayah, who tragically died in a drowning accident in April.

“I always played for my family already, but then having, like, that extra incentive and making me want to go a little harder for her, it never stops,” the two-time Pro Bowler said.

“It’s always going to suck, but at least I’m able to shine some spotlight on her a little bit.”

Barrett said his pick 6 felt like “divine intervention.” He feels God has a plan for his family.

“He just setting us up for something,” Barrett said. “Can’t say better because I don’t know what can be better than having my baby girl here, but he is setting us up for something that we need.

“I’m just ready for it. I’m waiting for it and I’ma believe in his plan, for sure.”

Arrayah Barrett drowned in the family’s swimming pool in south Florida on April 30. Authorities were called to the residence at 9:30 a.m. but, despite lifesaving efforts, the child died.

“While no words can provide true comfort at a time such as this, we offer our support and love as they begin to process this very profound loss of their beloved Arrayah,” the Buccaneers said in a statement after the accident.

Shaq Barrett sacks Justin Fields during Sunday’s 27-17 Buccaneers win. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Shaq Barrett has played for the Bucs since 2019. The Denver Broncos signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

Barrett, a two-time All-Pro, helped the Bucs defense in their efforts to win Super Bowl LV. A torn ACL limited him to eight games last season.

Now, the 30-year-old is looking to come back stronger in 2023 — with the help of his tiny guardian angel.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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