1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Jack Cichy has made it back from his second ACL surgery

The Bucs linebacker had five tackles and a quarterback hit playing in his first game in 10 months
Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy starred in the 2016 Holiday Bowl, but that was before overcoming two ACL injuries to land a spot on the Bucs preseason roster. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, file) [LENNY IGNELZI  |  AP]
Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy starred in the 2016 Holiday Bowl, but that was before overcoming two ACL injuries to land a spot on the Bucs preseason roster. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, file) [LENNY IGNELZI | AP]
Published Aug. 22, 2019

TAMPA — Ten months after walking on crutches into a doctor’s office, Jack Cichy strolled off the field following warmups prior to Friday night’s preseason game against Miami.

It was a short distance to the locker room, not more than a couple of football fields. But to Cichy, it already felt like a comeback.

“I kind of took it in,’’ said Cichy, the Bucs’ second-year linebacker. “I had a big smile on my face. Sometimes in rehab you kind of question, “Hey, what am I doing?’ But once you’re back on the field, there’s your answer right there.’’

MORE BUCS: Mike Evans out for preseason game.

Cichy had his final year at Wisconsin in 2016 wiped out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, forcing him to fall to the Bucs in the sixth round.

He made the team, but in his sixth game, he tore the ACL in his left knee.

MONICA HERNDON | Times Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jack Cichy (48) lies hurt during the third quarter of theTampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Cleveland Browns on October 21, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

In Friday’s 16-14 win over the Dolphins, he didn’t wait long to make his presence felt. Cichy finished with five tackles, one quarterback hit and on pass defensed.

“It felt great,’’ Cichy said. “The first couple plays, I just kind of wanted to get the lay of the land and see how the line is playing. But after that, you really kind of settle in. It was fun.’’

MORE BUCS: Ryan Griffin again shining in August

Recovering from one ACL surgery is bad enough. But having to do it twice? Cichy said he tried not to stare at the calendar.

“The second time, it was actually a little easier because you know more what to expect, you know how hard you can push yourself without going too far,’’ Cichy said. “But honestly, it was just putting your head down and work. With something as long as ACL rehab, you can’t look at the end because usually, it’s nine to 12 months down there and that was never my thing. I was never going to be like, ‘I need to be back for the season.’ I just decided I’m going to work my (butt) off every day and see where we are.

“So come the end of OTAs, we were feeling pretty good. And then as July and the middle of July came, it was like, “We think we can make a run at this.’ I felt good. And even I feel as confident on grass and turf running around as I ever have. It feels natural. As far as all that goes.’’

You wouldn’t blame Cichy for trying to find a new line of work. And in fact, it wouldn’t be the first time he was told he couldn’t succeed.

"My freshman year of high school, I told one of my varsity coaches I want to play linebacker,’’ Cichy said. “And he said, “No, you’ll probably play safety.’ And I said, “No, I’m a linebacker.’ I weighed about 160 (pounds) at the time.’’

Cichy still has a chance to earn a spot on the roster. The Bucs currently have several inside linebackers injured, including Lavonte David and Devante Bond. He likely will play a lot in the final two preseason games.

But there still are some mental hurdles he had to clear prior to last week’s game.

“It’s not so much cutting,’’ Cichy said. “I can look like an all-star doing the bags, but once I get a D-lineman and an O-lineman fighting and they’re in my lap, that’s when it gets tough.

“But those jitters went away once we practiced a day or two in pads and it everything falls back in place. It’s kind of like riding a bike.’’


  1. Jason Garrett had success against the Giants as Cowboys coach. Now he will face Dallas as New York's new offensive coordinator. [RON JENKINS  |  AP]
    The recently fired Dallas Cowboys coach stays in the NFC East.
  2. Steve Young was a supplemental draft pick of the Bucs in 1984 and started 19 games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986 before he was traded to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks in 1987. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [Tampa Bay Times]
    The Hall of Fame quarterback played two seasons with Tampa Bay before winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers
  3. A Super Bowl matchup involving former Buccaneers great John Lynch, left, and the San Francisco 49ers and Ryan Tannehill, right, and the Tennessee Titans could be tough to stomach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans. [Associated Press/DIRK SHADD | Times]
    Rick Stroud | For a lot of reasons, including gifting wins to both teams and GMs who got away, this would be a bad match up for Tampa Bay.
  4. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman (55) during drills for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    “They don’t yet have the mentality of a Miami Hurricane,” the linebacker says during the days leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.
  5. Todd Monken spent two seasons in Tampa Bay, the last as offensive coordinator, before being dismissed along with the rest of head coach Dirk Koetter's staff after the 2018 season.
    Tampa Bay’s former play-caller will be designing game plans for the Bulldogs against the Florida Gators next season.
  6. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 11. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    The former Bucs and Broncos safety has his team one win from the Super Bowl.
  7. Florida receiver Josh Hammond (18) on the field during practice for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Plus Plant High product Jake Fruhmorgen’s journey from Clemson to UF to Baylor to the East-West Shrine Game.
  8. Memphis linebacker Bryce Huff gets fired up after a play during a game against SMU at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. [KYLE OKITA  |]
    Plus more East-West Shrine Game nuggets, including former Navy star quarterback Malcolm Perry practicing at receiver
  9. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston reportedly would be unhappy with a franchise tag of about $27 million on a one-year deal. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The fifth-year starter reportedly wants as much as $30 million per year and would not be keen on a franchise player tag.
  10. USF tight end Mitch Wilcox with a reception during a drill on the field during the East practice for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Tarpon Springs alum insists the Bulls’ disastrous 4-8 season benefited him as he prepares for the NFL draft in this week’s East-West Shrine Game activities.