Jensen sustained a severe knee injury a year ago at training camp but played in the Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys in January. Holding back tears, the former Pro Bowler recounted his journey on the anniversary of his horrific injury and comeback on Friday, July 28.
“It was a crazy road,” Jensen told reporters. “Looking back, probably shouldn’t have played, but at the same time it was one of the ones I wanted to go out there and help the team and be out there with my guys. And it was an honor to be able to be back out on the field, and obviously with Tom [Brady’s] last game, it was an honor to play with him and suit up one more time.”
It didn’t conclude with a storybook ending as the Cowboys routed the Bucs 31-14. Jensen resumed his recovery in the offseason and “didn’t suffer any additional damage to the knee” from the playoff game according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Ryan Jensen Is Ready for 2023
Jensen participated in training camp sessions this week as he looks to be a full-time starter again for the Bucs this season.
“I’m feeling good. Ligaments are healthy and healed and I’m just ready to keep rolling,” Jensen said. “It’s somewhat no different than when you get a surgery done on it.”
“All those ligaments scar in and thicken up and get strength again. Obviously there’s a lot of strength aspect within the quad and calf, stuff like that, to help with the stability in the knee,” Jensen added. “That’s been a huge focus this offseason, coming into the season, finding the right plan to maintain that strength and stability in the knee.”
Ryan Jensen Went a Non-Traditional Route for Treatment
When Jensen went down with his injury in 2022, it caused tears to his ACL, MCL, PCL, and lateral meniscus plus a fractured tibial head. Instead of surgery, Jensen opted for regenerative medicine.
“Right after, you get all the imaging done and this and that and you start sending that out to different doctors,” Jensen said, “and I had five separate opinions and ended up going with Dr. [Don] Shelbourne, who thought it was going to be better for me not to have an operation done and went that route.”
Jensen went to Indianapolis for the treatment, which brought him to a turning point. He considered retirement but decided against it, he told The Athletic’s Dan Pompei, regarding his stay in Indianapolis.
“It was very tough, being away from the family for 10 days after going through something like that,” Jensen said, “but I think it was the right thing to do for me and the knee.”
Jensen then went to Antigua in November 2022 and had a knee injection of stem cells via umbilical cords from cesarean sections. His knee improved in the process as the Bucs moved him off of injured reserve in December 2022.
“I had a very healthy, easy path from a physical standpoint of not being injured ever to all of a sudden you’re on top of the world and you get brought back down,” Jensen said. “It was a mental battle. There were days I broke down and just sobbed.
“A healthy thing, and it was tough,” Jensen said about his experience. “It was a tough year, but now I think it’s grown me as a person, as a man. It’s made me a better dad, a better husband and stuff like that. It’s definitely been an adventure.”