The news only gets worse as it pertains to the status of Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting center and 2021 Pro Bowl selection Ryan Jensen, who was carted off the field during Thursday’s training camp practice because of a left knee injury.
Reports surfaced later on Thursday claiming Jensen had suffered a serious knee injury, and it was said on Friday morning that it is feared the 31-year-old could miss the entire 2022 NFL season because of the setback. Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles wasn’t prepared to offer a worst-case scenario update when speaking with reporters on Friday, but he certainly didn’t sound optimistic about Jensen’s potential return to the field.
“Don’t know the severity of it, per se, but I do know he’ll miss some significant time, up to a couple of months,” Bowles explained, according to Kevin Patra of the league’s website. “Whether he’s back later in the season, November, December, that depends on what they find in the knee. But he won’t be available anytime soon.”
It is a brutal blow for a Tampa Bay offense that had seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady end a short-lived winter retirement to return to the organization for a potential “last dance” campaign. Jensen signed a three-year, $39 million extension with the Buccaneers in March after he protected Brady throughout the all-time great’s first two seasons with the club.
Since Thursday’s development, Tampa Bay has been linked in rumors with former Cleveland Browns starter and current free-agent center J.C. Tretter. Per ESPN, Bowles added during his Friday comments that the Bucs have discussed signing a proven commodity at the position to compete with current Tampa Bay linemen Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett.