TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Veteran Tampa Bay center Ryan Jensen’s career could be in jeopardy because of a knee injury that will sideline him a second consecutive season.
The Buccaneers announced Saturday night that Jensen is headed for injured reserve after sitting out much of training camp in hopes the condition of his damaged left knee would improve.
“We did everything we could to get him ready,” coach Todd Bowles said after the team’s 26-20 preseason-closing victory over the Baltimore Ravens. “The more he did on it, the worse it got.”
The 10th-year pro tore ligaments in his knee on the second day of training camp last year, then sat out the entire 2022 regular season. Despite opting not to have surgery, the 32-year-old's recovery progressed enough that he returned to play in Tampa Bay’s wild-card playoff loss to Dallas in January.
“It breaks my heart. There’s nothing I’d rather do than be part of this team,” Jensen said, adding that he doesn’t think returning last winter to play in what turned out to be Tom Brady’s final game set back his chances for a full recovery.
“It just wasn’t responding the way I needed to go out there and play at a high level,” Jensen said, adding he has no regrets about not having surgery.
With Jensen remaining sidelined, third-year pro Robert Hainsey will start again this season.
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