Will Tampa Bay be without their starting center to open the season?
Week one has a lot of build up for it with a new era of Bucs football about to be underway. The Bucs open their season on the road against the Minnesota Vikings and though the possibility has been sparsely discussed, it does appear that there is a chance that new era will be starting without a fully healthy offensive line.
During training camp last season, Tampa Bay’s center Ryan Jensen, suffered a colossal knee injury which forced him to miss all of the 2022 regular season. Jensen did manage to recover (enough) to take the field against the Dallas Cowboys in Tampa’s playoff game last year. This year, Jensen has yet to partake in team drills. Participating in only individual workouts to this point, Jensen and the Bucs find themselves in an odd spot. Perhaps the team’s star center will be spending week one of 2023 exactly where he spent week one of 2022. When asked of Jensen’s status for the start of the regular season, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles had this to say.
“When we go into the season, I don’t consider having anybody if they haven’t practiced. You always prepare if somebody gets hurt or if somebody is going to stay hurt. We prepare that way every day, so that hasn’t changed.”
Todd Bowles, choosing to use rather vague generalisms, seems to be an admission that Jensen may not only be unlikely to play week one, but that there is no expectation of him playing soon.
Whether or not Jensen plays week one, a major talking point for Tampa Bay this season will be Jensen’s health. Amidst a reshuffled, new-look offensive line, the pewter pirates are going to need all hands on deck and Jensen is one of the team’s very best when he’s active and ready to battle.
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