When rookie sixth-round pick Ryan Jensen went down with a broken foot early in training camp, he looked destined for injured reserve. As a late-round pick out of small school Colorado State-Pueblo, Jensen was viewed by many pundits as a developmental player who would make his contributions in future seasons.
But when it came time for the Ravens to trim their roster to 53 players, the interior offensive lineman made the cut. The Raven gave him a coveted roster spot despite the injury. It's a significant move that shows they expect him to make an impact his rookie season.
"We feel like he's going to be a player for us sooner rather than later, and that's why we held on to him on the 53-[man roster]," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We've got high hopes for him for this year, and he's not too far out."
Jensen missed the entire preseason because of the foot injury, but he showed the coaching staff enough during the Organized Team Activities and minicamps that they liked his potential. The 6-foot-4, 304-pound lineman is listed as a center, but Harbaugh said he can also play both guard spots.
When he's healthy enough to return to the lineup, Jensen will provide depth behind centers Gino Gradkowski and A.Q. Shipley and guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele.
Jensen was still wearing a walking boot when the media was in the locker room last week, and he did not practice at all leading up to the Broncos game. Once he gets the boot off, Jensen will work his way back to the practice field and re-insert himself into the competition on the offensive line.
"He's worked really hard," Harbaugh said. "He's in very good shape. He's going to have to get in football shape, but he's getting closer to being back, so we're excited about him."