Starting Center Ryan Jensen will miss at least a couple of months and Tom Brady will now be protected by unproven second-year players.
2021 3rd round pick Robert Hainsey out of Notre Dame worked as the starter at Friday’s practice and will battle it out with 2nd year converted guard Nick Leverett.
Jensen went down with a knee injury at practice Thursday and had to be carted off. Jensen has been an ironman since coming to the Bucs and just signed a three-year $39 million dollar contract in March. Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles says they’ll go in-house for now to replace Jensen.
“I do know he’ll miss significant time, up to a couple of months,” Bowles said. “Whether he’s back later in the season, November, December, that depends on what they find in the knee. But he won’t be available anytime soon.”
The Bucs will have three new starters now on offense including both guards. GM Jason Licht admits they will be looking outside the team and says they’re always looking to upgrade. But Brady and Jensen had a good working relationship and losing Jensen does hurt.
“Ryan is obviously a very good player, but also just a great person and leader,” Licht said. “When a player like that gets hurt and he’s played through several injuries in his career, without missing any time, it deflates everybody.”
Tom Brady is going into his 23rd season and protecting Brady is of the utmost importance.
The Bucs lost left guard Ali Marpet who retired and right guard Alex Cappa went to the Bengals.