Tom Brady and the Bucs get huge boost as Pro-Bowl center Ryan Jensen comes off injured list just hours before crucial playoff game against Dallas Cowboys on Monday, with Tampa Bay star eligible to play for the first time in 12 MONTHS
- Bucs’ Pro-Bowl center Ryan Jensen has been activated from injured reserve
- The news, hours before their playoff against the Cowboys, is big for Tom Brady
- Jensen is a key figure in Brady’s offensive line and will bring added protection
- Jensen last played on January 23, 2022, in last season’s playoffs versus the Rams
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Tom Brady could raise a smile Monday at news that Pro-Bowl center Ryan Jensen has been activated from the Bucs’ injured roster and is eligible to play in Monday night’s blockbuster playoff against the Cowboys.
Jensen has been out of action since January 23, 2022, when he played for Tampa Bay against the Rams in last year’s playoffs.
A knee injury has kept Jensen sidelined since training camp but he has been restored to the 53-man roster, with linebacker J.J. Russell waived to open up a spot for him.
Ryan Jensen has now come off the injured list in a timely boost for Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It is a huge boost to Tom Brady (left) just hours before a playoff game against Dallas Cowboys
Jensen sustained a left knee injury during a training camp practice on July 29 and was placed on injured reserve Sept. 1 – but optimism was building ahead of the Panthers game last month that he was closing on a return.
The value of Jensen has never been lost on Brady, who discussed on his podcast last month that he had been motivating his team-mate to be back for crunch-time of the playoffs.
‘I know he’s been very vigilant with his rehab,’ Brady said in December on his Let’s Go! podcast. ‘I don’t know. (when he’ll be back). I don’t think anyone knows right now.
Jensen (front) has not played this season but his timely return can be beneficial to Brady (back)
Brady (right) said on his podcast last month that he had been speaking to Jensen ‘every day’
‘I know he’s a lot closer and I know he’s itching to be out there. I see him every day, I try to encourage him every day.’
Jensen’s return, along with right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who was battling an ankle problem, is a major boost to Brady and a Bucs offence that has looked out of sorts for much of the season.
Tampa Bay averaged a league-low 76.9 rushing yards per game across 2022 – and it is hoped Jensen and Wirfs can bring some stability and extra protection for Brady in the pocket.
Jensen has been a key piece for Brady and the Bucs and he played a key role in helping them to a league-best 20.1 per cent overall pressure rate in 2021.
Jensen (right) helped the Bucs to produce a league-best overall pressure rate in 2021 season
Jensen’s return has come at a perfect time for the Bucs given injuries elsewhere on the roster are piling up.
Robert Hainsey, who stepped up to replace Jensen after he went down injured, suffered a hamstring strain in Atlanta, while Nick Leverett, who has been starting at left guard and providing back-up to Hainsey at center, struggling with with knee and shoulder problems.
Jensen earned his first Pro-Bowl recognition last season and penned a new three-year deal with the Bucs back in March worth as much as $39million, with $26m of that money guaranteed.