TAMPA — Ryan Jensen’s two-year attempt to recover from a devastating knee injury ended Friday when he announced his retirement from the NFL.
Jensen, who tore three knee ligaments the second day of training camp in 2022, announced he is calling it quits after 11 seasons.
“With every chapter in the book of life, there is always an ending,” Jensen wrote on Instagram. “The NFL chapter of my life is coming to a close. As this chapter closes and I reflect on every aspect of my career, it makes me proud. In the hard times and good, there is always something special to learn.
“Retiring from the game you have loved from a very young age is always hard. I’m excited for this next chapter and the new opportunities and challenges it will bring.”
Jensen, 32, was a longshot to make it from the NFL from Division II’s Colorado State-Pueblo. He was a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2013.
The Bucs signed him as a free agent in 2018. Two years later Jensen was snapping the football to Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
Jensen was injured when then-rookie Logan Hall fell across his knee in a non-contact, two-minute drill with some help from guard Aaron Stinnie.
After his injury, rather than opt for surgery, Jensen attempted a non-traditional method of treatment that included flying to Antigua to receive stem cells cultivated from the umbilical cords donated from mothers who had cesarean sections.
He spent all of the 2022 regular season on injured reserve but made it back to start and play in the NFC wild-card loss to the Cowboys.
Jensen attempted to make a comeback this season but was never able to recover enough strength to compete in training camp. He was placed on injured reserve for the second time when the Bucs cut their roster down to 53 players.
Because the Bucs restructured Jensen’s contract each of the last two seasons, he will count $16.6 million against their cap. If they designate him for a June 1 release, it would divide that amount to $4.8 million against the cap in 2024 and 11.8 million in 2025.
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