Bucs’ Beleaguered Offensive Line Could Get Injured Center Ryan Jensen Back In November

After a weekend in which quarterback Tom Brady publicly criticized his offensive line and was particularly harsh with second-year center Robert Hainsey, Tampa Bay is hoping to get Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen back from a knee injury in November, a source said.

The hope is that Jensen could be back as early as Nov. 6 for the game against the Los Angeles Rams, although that remains uncertain. Jensen was injured in training camp on July 28 when he crumpled to the ground in pain during practice. He has been out for nearly three months and likely needs time to get in game condition.

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The loss of Ryan Jensen has been part of a massive shuffle the Buccaneers have dealt with this season. During the offseason, the team lost Ali Marpet to retirement and Alex Cappa to free agency. Jensen was expected to be the anchor as the team acquired veteran guard Shaq Mason, who played with Brady in New England, and developed second-round pick Luke Goedeke.

Bucs center Ryan Jensen. (Getty Images)

Bucs O-Line Could Use Return Of Ryan Jensen

Instead, the injury to Ryan Jensen and the subsequent use of Hainsey has added to the instability of the line, which was overwhelmed by Pittsburgh on Sunday. Tampa Bay averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry in the running game and just over 6.0 yards per pass by Brady. In addition, Brady was sacked twice and Hainsey allowed a goal-line rushing attempt by Leonard Fournette to get blown up in the backfield when Hainsey missed a blocked.

That moment was the tipping point for Brady to get angry with the performance of the offensive line. All of that has been part of a subpar early season on offense for Tampa Bay, which has scored 21 points or less in five of six games and scored 31 points in a blowout loss to Kansas City.

Written by Jason Cole

Jason Cole has covered or written about pro football since 1992. He is one of 49 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has served as a selector since 2013. Cole has worked for publications such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, The Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and started his career with the Peninsula Times-Tribune in Palo Alto. Cole’s five-year investigation of Reggie Bush and the University of Southern California resulted in Bush becoming the only player to ever relinquish his Heisman Trophy and USC losing its 2004 national championship.

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