Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen played in Monday night’s playoff loss to the Cowboys after missing the entire regular season with a knee injury, and afterward he said he was proud to have done it.
“It means everything,” Jensen said. “It’s why we do it, we do it for each other. And after a year where I wasn’t able to run out of the tunnel and be with my guys, it sucked. So today was a pretty surreal moment, and I’m proud of myself for everything, to persevere, and getting out there and giving it my all and trying to help this team win.”
Jensen confirmed that he opted not to have surgery despite having an injury that typically requires a major surgical reconstruction of the knee.
“It was a pretty severe injury. A lot of people I know were confused why I didn’t have surgery,” Jensen said. “I ended up tearing my MCL, my ACL and my PCL. I flipped my meniscus. I had a fracture and another little bone chip thing. It was a major injury and I was as fortunate as I could be with the way the injury happened that I didn’t have to have surgery and it was able to heal on its own in five months. Some call it dumb, but I’m a football player and football players play football.”
After going through all that, Jensen made all 82 snaps for the Buccaneers on Monday night.