Jason Licht On Ryan Jensen: “We Want That Knee To Get As Strong As Possible”

August 10th, 2023

Update not encouraging.

Those monitoring Bucs training camp likely know Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen has only been a part-time participant.

So yesterday, Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, co-hosts of “Movin’ the Chains,” the best damn football radio show in the land heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, were in town for their annual visit to Bucs camp.

Miller once had a cup of coffee with the Bucs as a Chucky quarterback, and Kirwan is a former Bucs scout. So they love coming to watch Tampa Bay and picking the brains of all the movers and shakers for a day.

Naturally, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht stopped in for about 15 minutes as Kirwan and Miller broadcast from One Buc Palace. Maybe bad timing for Licht because Jensen had the day off.

Clearly Kirwan noticed the absence and he asked Licht what was going on with Jensen. Licht’s response discouraged Joe.

Pat Kirwan: Tell me about Ryan Jensen. [Robert] Hainsey took over a thousand snaps last year. I’m not calling it a battle at center. What is the status of Ryan? I guess that is the question.

Jason Licht: We’re still seeing — we want to take it slow. We don’t want to throw him in there and grind him too much now. We want that knee to get as strong as possible. It’s going OK right now. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, we have to have someone ready to go.

What made Licht’s response ominous was that he had been really chipper and jovial with Kirwan (that’s who Licht is, far different than the man you see at a podium), like a couple of guys having beers talking football.

But when Jensen’s knee injury came up, Licht’s demeanor changed. He sounded somber and serious if not guarded. Licht punctuated each sentence with an “um” or an “uh” searching for just the right phrase.

Notice nowhere in Licht’s response did he say anything like, “Ah, Jensen is fine. He’ll be ready to go Week 1,” or even, “At worst, he may miss two games. He’s good. Nothing to see here.” Or even, “Eh, Ryan just had a minor setback. No big deal.”

A month from tonight, the regular season kicks off. And Licht gave zero indication when Jensen can be expected to practice full-time.

If Jensen can’t be expected to practice full-time on a bum knee (same knee that was destroyed in training camp last year), then how is Jensen going to be expected to play a full game on the turf of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in Week 1?

Joe got very bad vibes hearing Licht.

28 Responses to “Jason Licht On Ryan Jensen: “We Want That Knee To Get As Strong As Possible””

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I don’t understand how he could play a whole game at the end of the season last year and now we’re in a quiet panic, it seems. What happened? Was that game detrimental to his recovery? I don’t get it and I don’t like it. At first I thought this issue was overblown, now I’m worried. Something stinks, and it’s not Jensen’s baby powder butt towels.

  2. Tim Says:

    Perhaps it’s not totally a physical issue with Jensen? Maybe he’s got other issues going on?

  3. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    So how much gap relief will the Bucs get when he retires after camp

  4. garro Says:

    Yeah sadly that appears to be the reality of it Joe.

    Hope I’m wrong but when they started giving snaps to Leverett I was convinced that Jensens knee is just not ready right now or maybe ever.

    That stem cell stuff appears to be a temporary fix. Since he played a full game on it last year.

    Go Bucs!

  5. Fansince76 Says:

    Wow, that news sucks Joe!

    Sure seems like we can pencil in Hainsey as starting center first part of the season anyways. lets hope Hainsey improves in year 2 and acquires a nasty attitude!

  6. SB~LV Says:

    Not sounding good!
    Should have had surgery

  7. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Thanks, Logan. 😕

  8. Boss Says:

    TB to Jensen last year- “take it easy brah…don’t get killed and destroy your knee trying to win with these baffoons bowles and lefty.”

    end of the season. TB- “hey Jensen, we got a shot, you can tough it out a couple games- we have a shot”

    This year- Jensen reverts back to last year not wanting to risk his knee until he knows the team has a shot. why, I mean he is getting paid right?

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The surgery would have effectively ended his career. He got stem cell therapy which works but it really only holds for six months up to maybe a year. He’s probably dealing with lots of inflammation or swelling in the knee on a day to day basis and that’s his problem. It might take another year to stabilize… if it doesn’t his career is over. He’ll never be the same player. Love big red! But it’s time to retire and focus on keeping that knee from being replaced before he’s 40.

  10. Beej Says:

    Who I HAVEN’T heard of is Aaron Stinnie. He was a super bowl starter, acquitted himself well, blew his knee last year, name never comes up at all

  11. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Injury settlement.

  12. Erick Says:

    Hate to say it, but this sounds like a career ended. Don’t understand why surgery wasn’t the choice.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This is somewhat normal for a Vet to take training camp lightly…..especially one who has been injured…..
    One thing I would note….there is a reason why players have surgeries….and Jensen deidn’t.

  14. Beej Says:

    Tampa bay dot com has a nice article about it, have to Google it

  15. Obvious Says:

    If the stem cell therapy was a success ( he indicated a kinda, sorta type answer there) then he has re blown his knee out. I doubt it was ever fully restored and then he took the gamble and it blew back out. Well, maybe that’s what happened

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    Bummer – the Bucs still owe Jenson $22.5 MILLION of guaranteed money…

    Just an FYI – “Injury settlement keeps the player from going on IR for the rest of the season. If a player and the team come to an injury settlement, a player is released and compensated for the amount of time agreed upon by both parties in which the injury would keep the player from being able to perform their NFL duties.”

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    So basically not having surgery immediately for the sake of playing one more game with Tommy could cost him another lost season and another massive waste of payroll for the Bucs?


  18. D Cone Says:

    Jensen tore his ACL, MCL, PCL, meniscus, and fractured his tibial head and cartilage.

    Can’t say this is completely true because I don’t personally know the source. If it is then his knee suffered extreme damage. Chose to let it heal naturally. No surgery. I really can’t see how it is could ever heal enough to hold his weight, the weight of a big defensive lineman and the force of the two pushing against each other.
    He’s getting paid so he’s going to be there doing what he can to help the team.
    He knows his position, when he’s in the lineup runs the show on the line so if and when he returns he should be able to slide right in and go.
    No need to push it in practice or the preseason.
    If he feels like it’s not going to hold up I doubt he plays one snap.
    He’s got money and I wouldn’t want to have to enjoy it from a wheelchair.
    Though break and I wish him the best.

  19. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Sounds like he will need the surgery he should have already had… whoops!

  20. SimeonForHOF Says:

    Strong as possible would have been surgery a year ago

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    Well, it’s not like the team is going anywhere this year. Personally, if you get Jensen out there for a game, I’d turn around and immediately try to trade him. If someone has some injuries and needs a guard/center, you might be able to get a 3rd from a contender.

  22. Joe Says:

    Sounds like he will need the surgery he should have already had… whoops!

    If he had surgery he would be out of football for good.

  23. Jackson Says:

    I think what happened is he tore his ACL in camp last year, and stupidly decided to not get surgery on it because he wanted to play in the playoffs with Tom one last time. Now the knee is still not right and probably will never be right again. He sacrificed his career for that one last chance at another super bowl. Probably will retire.

  24. firethecannons Says:

    Jensen is on his final NFL year, it has been a real decent career, he is part time player at the most, he will be pulled early for good as he will not be able to keep up. They will spread him out and his absence will doom the Bucs, Baker is hurt early in the season as the line is overwhelmed and Hainsey gets hurt and Leverett well we all know what happens then. The turnover bug will hit the Bucs and Leverett will have it on the ground over and over. I read Joes training camp notes. You cannot say we are not doomed.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason why didn’t u draft his replacement ?

  26. Destinjohnny Says:

    Wait u did and he is awful

  27. firethecannons Says:

    the second he is done with NFL he needs a total knee–nothing big deal to him he can handle it, they often do both knees on folks at the same time incredibly arduous on the person but it is done all the time

  28. Esteban85 Says:

    I just can’t fathom how Bucs fans can put this freak injury on Logan Hall. Really shortsighted to think it is some rookies fault for trying to practice hard.