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Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen (knee) heading to injured reserve, won't play in 2023

Ryan Jensen won't play in 2023.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht on Saturday announced during the team's preseason finale versus the Ravens that Jensen will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

"Obviously, news broke today about me getting put on [Injured Reserve]. It breaks my heart. There's nothing more I want to do than be a part of this team," Jensen said to reporters after the game, via team transcripts. "This organization has changed my life and unfortunately, my knee just wasn't progressing in an upward, positive way. I fought my butt off. I put more work in this offseason than I've done in probably my entire career. It just wasn't responding how it needed to respond and go out there and play at a high level. It sucks, but I know I want to be around this team and help out the young guys and mentor the guys on the line and do whatever I can do to be a part of this team and help this team win football games."

Jensen had been dealing with a knee injury that dates back to the first day of training camp last season. The 32-year-old opted to not have surgery on his knee in order to keep hope alive for a late-season return. Jensen worked hard to make that happen for Tom Brady's final playoff run, but the injury has lingered and could potentially be a career-ender.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Jensen has likely played his last down in the NFL, and Licht indicated such a conclusion for the nine-year veteran upon his announcement on Saturday.

"I think we're just going to attack it and do as much as we can to get the knee better," Jensen said. "With different opinions from doctors, surgery for what's going on in the knee probably wouldn't help – it would probably actually deter it and make it worse. I'm going to fight and do whatever I can do to get this knee healthy."

Jensen was essential to the Buccaneers' Super Bowl-winning campaign in 2020 and he followed that year up with his lone Pro Bowl season in 2021. His admirable effort to try and win another Lombardi shouldn't be taken for granted in Tampa.

Robert Hainsey, who was thrust into the starting lineup upon Jensen's injury last year, is expected to be the team's starting center in 2023.

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