How Jensen’s return helps the Bucs – even when he’s not playing
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles immediately ruled that center Ryan Jensen should be out for Sunday’s big game against the Visit panthers even though the Pro Bowler returned to practice this week. But that doesn’t mean Jensen’s return can’t help the team.
The Bucs opened the 21-day practice window for Jensen, who was working injured reserve since September 1 with a knee injury. Jensen can practice with the team for three weeks before the team has to activate him for the 53-man roster or place him back on injured reserve.
When quarterback Tom Brady received the news Monday night that Jensen would be returning to training, there was a noticeable increase in his step this week, according to sources.
“I know he’s been very careful with his rehab,” Brady said. “I don’t know, I don’t think anyone knows at the moment. I know he’s much closer, and I know he longs to be out there. I see him every day, I try to encourage him every day.”
On Thursday, Brady shared his comments about Jensen’s return to the practice field.
“It’s good, it’s definitely good,” Brady said. “Everyone loves having Ryan there. He’s quite a nuisance when he’s alone in the locker room. It’s nice to get him on the field and he’s getting a little happier. I think we’re all a little happier when we’re out there. It’s great to have him there. We love having him there.
Jensen’s return has revitalized the Bucs
Jensen’s return is also expected to motivate center Robert Hainsey to pick up his game even more. Hainsey, a sophomore player, has been at center for the Bucs all season and played quite well. Knowing that Jensen’s potential return to the bench could force Hainsey should push him to make the most of his remaining snaps on matchdays.
And with Jensen rejoining the team in a more formal sense on the practice field, he should be able to provide more vocal leadership. It’s hard to be injured and tell guys how to play or what they’re doing wrong when you’re not fighting them and standing on the sidelines in street clothes.
As Jensen gears up for the Falcons game or a playoff game if the Bucs qualify — even as a backup — he may be more inclined to speak out and rally the troops on the sidelines than he has this year. What he’s done this year is more one-on-one conversations with players during training and on the sidelines during matches. Jensen’s fire and brimstone style of vocal leadership would be broadcast to the entire O-line in a group setting upon his return to practice.
Sure, the Bucs would love to see Jensen back on the field to shoot the ball to Brady on game days, but if he’s physically unable to return this year, at least he’s returned to practice to get a . make a flying start on the field. season 2023.
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