A major key to the Bucs’ hopes for another Super Bowl just went down with a knee injury

Jensen going down for any extended period of time in the regular season is going to be a huge blow to the Bucs’ chances to start the season strong.

click to enlarge Ryan Jensen (center) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a punt to end practice early during Minicamp at AdventHealth Training Center. - Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan Jensen (center) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a punt to end practice early during Minicamp at AdventHealth Training Center.
The Bucs’ recent string of good news was interrupted by a very tough break when Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen suffered a seemingly serious knee injury, during an innocuous minimal-contact drill, in training camp, having to be carted off the field.

Jensen is obviously a key cog in the offensive line machine, which has certainly been incredibly lucky in the TB12 era when it comes to injuries. The only other times the unit has been bitten by the injury bug was losing Tristan Wirfs at the end of last season, and when Alex Cappa went down during a Super Bowl run that ended in a last-minute loss in last year’s NFC Divisional.

Jensen going down for any extended period of time in the regular season is going to be a huge blow to the Bucs’ chances at having a strong start to the season, with a tough beginning on their schedule, having to match up against the Cowboys, Saints, Packers, and Chiefs.
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However, the door could open for the Bucs to replace Jensen with a very solid veteran free agent in former Browns center JC Tretter.

If the Bucs do bring on Tretter, it will probably close the door on them adding any other key free agents, as he will probably not be taking any sort of discount (and rightfully so, as he’s been a solid starter in Cleveland for the past five years).

If the Bucs choose to settle with their current depth pieces, the Bucs will likely have to turn to third-year man out of Notre Dame, Robert Hainsey, who is certainly not an ideal candidate to be starting on a Super Bowl contending team.

Luckily, if the Bucs wanted to sign Tretter, they do still have around $9 million in cap space remaining following the Julio Jones and Kyle Rudolph signings.

We shall see what news the Jensen injury brings and, more importantly, what the consequences of this unfortunate series of events will be.
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