NFL news: Could Bucs center Ryan Jensen return sooner than expected? – Bucs Wire

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were dealt a devastating blow on just the second day of training camp this year, when Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen went down with a serious knee injury that threatened to end his season before it even began.

Despite the grim prognosis, the Bucs have held out hope that Jensen would be able to return at some point later this season, perhaps in the playoffs.

Earlier this week, longtime NFL reporter Jason Cole indicated that Jensen could return as early as Week 9 against the Los Angeles Rams.

When asked about that report on Wednesday, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles didn’t sound like someone who expected Jensen to make that quick of a turnaround.

“As far as I know, he’s still limping [and] hobbled,” Bowles said. “I can’t tell you how he’s going to heal – he’s walking better and that’s the best I can tell you. I don’t know when he’ll be back.”

The interior of Tampa Bay’s offense line has struggled for much of the season, thanks in large part to missing Jensen and fellow Pro Bowler Ali Marpet, who retired this past offseason.

While it’s still possible that Jensen could return at some point this season, Week 9 still seems like a fool’s hope.