Jensen not only will miss Week 1 of the regular season, he could start the season on injured reserve according to Bucs insider Greg Auman of FOX Sports. A catastrophic knee injury sidelined Jensen in training camp last season, and he didn’t return until the Wild Card game in January.
Despite Jensen’s early return, the Bucs held him out of training camp practices and preseason games this year. Jensen had stem cell treatment in lieu of surgery on his knee, which aided his early return, but it’s been all setbacks this summer.
Todd Bowles: Ryan Jensen Recovery is ‘Status Quo’
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles called things “status quo” when it came to Jensen’s recovery.
“Any time somebody is out, there’s always concern,” Bowles told reporters on Tuesday, August 22. “We know what he missed last year, so we’re prepared for it either way.”
“Also, there are concerns at One Buc Palace that Jensen may not play again for the Buccaneers, as his injured knee has not responded the way Jensen and the team hoped following his return from injury against the Cowboys in the playoffs last season,” JoeBucsFan.com reported.
“Joe was told Jensen isn’t necessarily contemplating retirement now but it’s understood that Jensen’s knee is not able to handle the rigors of a full season,” JoeBucsFan.com added.
Robert Hainsey Prepared to Fill Ryan Jensen’s Role
Auman reported that Jensen’s future in 2023 “seems like injured reserve — potentially with the chance to return” later in the season. All of this puts things in Hainsey’s hands.
“That’s how I’ve prepared all offseason,” Hainsey told FOX 13. “That’s how I’ve prepared my whole life as if that’s going to be the scenario. Whatever happens, happens but yeah, that’s how everyone prepares. Everyone is preparing to be the guy.”
JoeBucsFan.com reported that starting quarterback Baker Mayfield notably roomed with Hainsey and trackles Tristan Wirfs and Luke Goedeke at training camp this year. Hainsey believes they’ve done sufficient work already despite no snaps from the full starting unit in preseason games.
“Just like no one has seen us do it on the field on Sundays doesn’t mean it’s our first time when we get out there together,” Hainsey said via FOX 13. “We’ve had a lot of reps together the past four months. It doesn’t quite feel the way that it probably feels to the public.”
Bowles concurred with that sentiment, and he will give starters such as Hainsey a long dress rehearsal in the preseason finale. The starters will play the whole first half on Saturday, August 26, against the Baltimore Ravens.
“They have a lot of practice time together, so I’m not concerned from that standpoint,” Bowles said via FOX 13. “You always want it to flow smoothly on game day. We’ll see what it looks like this weekend, but they’ve got a lot of practice time together. They communicate well and continue to grow. I’m comfortable with where they’re at.”