Latest Ryan Jensen injury update is more bad news for Bucs

We’re still waiting on official word from the Buccaneers, but every new update on Ryan Jensen feels worse than the last.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

As the final week of the preseason winds down and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers focus on finalizing the roster, one major question hangs over the team like a dark cloud.

Slowly over the course of training camp the future for Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen got more and more murky. He returned to the team in July with an emotional press conference in which he detailed the toll his injury last season took on him both on and off the field. That was pretty much the last we’ve seen of him, though, as Jense has yet to suit up for the Bucs in either practice or a game and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to do so.

There have been murmurs that Jensen might be done with the Bucs altogether.

It’s too early to tell if that will end up being the case, but it’s true that there’s insane uncertainty about Jensen’s future. He’s reportedly been ruled out for the Bucs Week 1 trip up to Minnesota, something the team has been preparing for since the middle of August.

Updates on Jensen’s health have been all over the place, but it seems the only consistent thing about them is they’re never good.

Buccaneers Rumors: Ryan Jensen could begin season on IR

The Athletic’s Greg Auman was asked about Jensen’s health and proposed a very realistic and depressing outcome to his situation.

Auman floated something Bucs fans have been quietly thinking but trying not to accidentally speak into existence: Ryan Jensen starting the season on IR.

There are a number of things to be concerned with if Jensen starts the season IR, even if he’s designated for return. The Bucs offensive line is coming off a year where it was a Main Character in what went wrong in Tom Brady’s last season, with Jensen’s injury causing him to miss the season being a major factor.

To begin yet another season with the same situation is obviously less than ideal.

There’s also a financial angle to consider, which is something Auman also broke down when talking about the Jensen situation.

Let’s not look that far into the future, or imagine it being that grim. The immediate future feel much more concerning, since the Bucs need to figure out a plan to replace Jensen in a short amount of time.

Robert Hainsey would be in line to start in place of Jensen, with Nick Leverett serving as his backup. Depth up front was an issue for the Bucs last season and already the offensive line is looking thin. Hopefully Jensen is able to avoid IR — or worse — and return to the Bucs. Until then the offensive line looks like it’s once again going to be a major source of anxiety early in the season.

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