One of the most under-appreciated aspects of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense the past two years has unquestionably been the consistently-great performance of the offensive line. In fact, when Tom Brady first stated he would sign with the Bucs, many critics of the move highlighted the offensive line as incapable of adequately protecting the less-than-mobile Brady.
However, two years later, those skeptics have all been proven very wrong.
The offensive line has consistently ensured Brady has enough time to make throws as well as create a passing rushing attack to boot.
That’s why the injuries suffered to both All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen in the Buccaneer playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday are all the more devastating to the team’s future.
Both players suffered their injuries early in the game, and the resulting impact was clear.
Wirfs managed to return late in the second half but was ultimately pulled from the game after he started limping between plays and struggling in reps.
Jensen was obviously in pain, however he managed to return on the following drive and played the rest of the game.
It was reported that Wirfs was wearing a boot on Monday as he recovers from a sprained ankle, according to Bruce Arians.
Arians also said that both Jensen and Wirfs are going to be held out of practice until Friday to ensure they are as healthy as they can be for the Bucs’ next game against the L.A. Rams.
With the skill and ferocity with which the Rams consistently rush the passer, not having either player would be a massive blow to the Bucs’ chances of coming out of the game with a win. No Wirfs or Jensen against Aaron Donald and Von Miller is not a recipe for success with the season on the line, especially after seeing the Eagles pass rush dominating in the last game.
Reports appear to be positive, so it’s probably safe to assume Jensen and Wirfs will both be good to go, but you know what they say about assumptions, so Bucs fans should be cautiously optimistic in the meantime.