Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen is set to miss a significant amount of time after injuring his knee in a practice last week and his absence will likely impact quarterback Tom Brady more than anyone else on the field.
Brady got his first chance to respond to Jensen’s injury during a press conference on Monday. Brady said he was “heartbroken” by the loss of Jensen and then pivoted to talking about his potential replacement.
Robert Hainsey has stepped up to work with the first team after appearing in nine games as a reserve last season and Brady said his work gained him trust before adding that Hainsey still has to earn the role this year.
“He worked hard last year, really gained the trust of a lot of people, and he’s got to go earn it,” Brady said. “Like all of us, it’s not what you did, how hard you worked in the offseason. It’s how good a football player are you.”
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles didn’t close the door on looking for outside help to replace Jensen, but a strong showing in practice from Hainsey could do that in Tampa.