A worst fear for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans was unfortunately confirmed on Saturday night.
While there was plenty made about the Bucs quarterback situation — and rightfully so — another serious question hung I er everyone’s head like a dark storm cloud.
Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen returned to the team back in July but there was doubt about when he’d be healthy enough to make an impact. He missed all of last season with a knee injury he suffered in training camp last year, and it’s an injury that has wiped out another year of his career.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht announced on Saturday that Jensen was being placed on IR and will miss this upcoming season.
This now makes two full seasons Jensen will miss due to his knee injury.
Jensen opted not to have surgery last year ti repair the damage done to his knee, which was a decision that allowed him to return for the Bucs ill-fated trip to the playoffs. Surgery seemed likely at the time of his injury last summer but he took a gamble in not having surgery so he could potentially return.
He eventually did but it seems to have cost him another season as a result.
The Bucs were already preparing to a start the season without Jensen, but it was unclear how long he would be out. One growing concern was that his career might be in jeopardy because of this knee injury, a fear that the Bucs placing Jensen on IR doesn’t he’ll quell.
Without Jensen, the Bucs are without one of their best players and are right back in the same situation they were in at the start of last year. Losing Jensen for all of the 2022 season was a major reason why things went so aggressively off the rails, and once again the Bucs are being forced to reckon with a future without him.
Robert Hainsey is expected to step in and become the starting center in Jensen’s absence.