Could Ryan Jensen return from injury as Vita Vea did during Bucs’ Super Bowl run?

TAMPA — Center Ryan Jensen sustained a significant knee injury only a couple of days into training camp, but the Bucs have had no updates on his condition.

Even so, they fear it could be season-ending.

Jensen was said to have been undergoing more testing to determine the path forward. The best-case scenario would be if he could return sometime in late November or December.

In the meantime, the Bucs will take advantage of more than a month before the Sept. 11 opener at Dallas to determine who will replace him. Robert Hainsey, the Bucs’ third-round pick from Notre Dame in 2021, has been taking most of the reps with the first-team offense. He is battling Nick Leverett for the starting job.

Regardless, the Bucs don’t plan to make a roster move with Jensen before final cutdowns.

That’s because if he is not on the final 53-man roster and a move is made to put him on injured reserve beforehand, he will be lost for the year. By keeping him on the roster for at least one day after the cutdown to 53, the Bucs could then move him to injured reserve and have him eligible to return.

Best-case scenario may be that Jensen is this year’s version of Vita Vea. During the 2020 season, Vea sustained a broken leg in a loss at Chicago in October. Because he began the season on the active roster, he was eligible to…

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