The Buccaneers' pursuit of a title has encountered a hurdle before the calendar turns to August.
Center Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury and was carted off the practice field Thursday during training camp. It is believed to be a serious knee injury NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported.
Rapoport and Garafolo added that the hope is to have a definitive diagnosis on Jensen's injury in the next few days.
Coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday morning the team was uncertain of the severity of Jensen's injury, which prompted the veteran center to slam his helmet on the ground out of frustration in the immediate moments after. General manager Jason Licht told reporters he "feels terrible" for Jensen, but did not yet have an update, per The Athletic's Greg Auman.
The injury sapped some positive momentum built by the Buccaneers' offense, which was taking its first few reps with new addition Julio Jones earlier in the Thursday session. Second-year lineman and Notre Dame product Robert Hainsey replaced Jensen after he was carted off.
The only remaining starting interior lineman from Tampa Bay's Super Bowl LV-winning squad, Jensen was seen as an essential piece the Buccaneers must retain entering the offseason. His presence became even more important when guard Ali Marpet surprised everyone by retiring in February at just 28 years old and guard Alex Cappa departed for Cincinnati via free agency the following month.
Less than a month after Marpet's retirement, the 2021 Pro Bowler Jensen signed a three-year, $39 million extension to stay with the Buccaneers, ensuring Tampa Bay would have its most important (and perhaps toughest) interior lineman. That is now an uncertainty Tampa Bay never wanted to consider.