The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be hoping for good news in the coming days after Ryan Jensen, their Pro Bowl center, was taken off the field on a cart late in Thursday's training camp practice. Head Coach Todd Bowles pinpointed the location of the injury but did not have further information on its severity immediately after practice.
"All I know is he went down right know with a knee," said Bowles. "We'll see when we go inside going forward and go from there."
Jensen was hurt during the final period of the 105-minute practice, a two-minute move-the-ball exercise. He and left guard Aaron Stinnie ended up on the ground but Stinnie was able to get up quickly. Jensen eventually was helped up into the cart by a number of his O-Line teammates. The Buccaneers have yet to put on pads so there is minimal contact on any snap; Jensen may have just been the recipient of bad luck.
"It's unfortunate right now, because there was nothing fancy going on in there," said Bowles. "We've got to look at the tape and see what happened. It didn't look like anything. As far as how it happened, I don't know. We've got to take a look at the tape and hope for the best."
It may be a couple of days before the Buccaneers have a clear prognosis on how much time Jensen will miss.
"Right now we feel terrible for Jensen," said General Manager Jason Licht. "[I] don't have any update on that; we won't for some time. We have tests, some tests you have to wait for a couple days before you can give them. You have to wait for swelling and things like that to go down. So I don't have any update on that other than that it was a knee injury and we're hoping for the best. But we'll have updates on that later."
Second-year man Robert Hainsey stepped in with the first line at center after Jensen left the field. Licht said that Jensen would be one of two primary candidates to fill the position for whatever amount of time Jensen is unavailable. Hainsey was listed as the backup center on the Buccaneers' depth chart throughout his 2021 rookie season but only saw a handful of offensive snaps. The Bucs liked his versatility when they made him the 95th-overall pick in last year's draft.
"We took Robert in the third round for a reason, because we saw a lot of potential in him," said Licht. "We saw potential in him as a center first, potentially playing guard, he played right tackle at Notre Dame as well. We've liked the progression of Robert since we drafted him, since he came into the offseason last year, and we have faith in him. We also have a lot of faith in Nick Leverett playing center as well. So those two will get in there and they'll compete for the time being until we find out more about Jensen."