Offensive linemen often don't get the credit they deserve. That can go for linemen on both sides of the ball, but the offensive line in particular really needs to work as one in order to be effective. That's why the impact of injuries along the line can be even more pronounced. You add a different piece in the mix and suddenly everything doesn't flow as well. Players along the o-line will try to avoid that at all costs, which is why it was a huge deal that left tackle Donovan Smith ended up missing his first start of his career, starting the last 77 consecutive games.
With that in mind, when center Ryan Jensen got caught by some friendly fire from left guard Ali Marpet in the first quarter – he shook it off and went back in, anyway.
"Ali [Marpet], they were in a double-team block and he got more of Ryan's elbow than he did of the defender and it hurt a lot," Head Coach Bruce Arians explained of the situation on Monday. "But he's a tough guy, came to the sideline to shake it off. We used a timeout really to get Earl [Watford] and Jameis [Winston] some snaps and by then Ryan was ok so he could go back in."
Take a look for yourself courtesy of a fan and Jensen's own Twitter account. The cameras caught a red-faced and hurting Jensen coming to the sideline, then flashing to Winston and backup-center Earl Watford taking some snaps. Before they can get more than two in, Jensen walks back out onto the field.
"He said, 'I'm going back in.' I said, 'Good.'" Said Arians.
I have a feeling the exchange was a little bit more colorful than that knowing the two parties involved but it was something I totally missed in real time. Tough doesn't even begin to cover it.
The only person that may have been a little disappointed was Watford himself.