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Tampa Bay tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins still isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to return to action six weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in New Orleans, he said Wednesday.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re 100-percent,” the second-year pro said from in front of his locker. “You’ve got to go back out there feeling you can do what you did when you left. I don’t want to go out there and not give my teammates what they deserve out of me when I’m out there on the field. They deserve that, the coaches deserve that and the fans deserve that.”

Before hurting his shoulder during Week 2’s win in New Orleans, Seferian-Jenkins totaled seven receptions on 10 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns, with most of that production coming Week 1 against Tennessee. Seferian-Jenkins has struggled to get on the field since entering the league last year out of Washington, missing 12 of 23 games over that span.

Despite the injury setbacks, the team’s perception of Seferian-Jenkins and what he can add to the offense hasn’t wavered.

“Just look at how he played before he went down with the injury,” head coach Lovie Smith said during his Wednesday press conference. “He’s going to be a great player in the league, I really believe that. So to be able to add another dimension to our offense like him, we can’t wait for it to happen and we’re getting closer to that happening.”

Seferian-Jenkins got back to practice on a limited basis for the first time since the injury last week. Smith said his condition continues to improve but playing against the New York Giants this Sunday remains unknown.

“Every day he’s gotten better and better, which we expect,” Smith said. “Whether he’ll be ready this week or not? I don’t know that yet, but we had pads on today and we have seen progress daily from him. I know he’s feeling more and more confident with coming back out onto the football field. Keep in mind last Monday he told me he was ready, 100 percent. Of course that wasn’t the case, so we’ll see.”

According to Seferian-Jenkins, that day can’t come soon enough.

“It’s been really hard. I want to be out there,” he said. “I go into every week with optimism. After I hurt my shoulder, the first week I believed I was going to play. I always have great optimism, I’m excited about this week and I’m excited about preparing for the Giants.”

In the time since Seferian-Jenkins’ injury, the Bucs have seen their receiving corps get hit hard by injuries. Louis Murphy went down for the year against Washington and fellow wideout Vincent Jackson exited that same game with a knee injury that caused him to sit out in Atlanta.

The absence of that aforementioned trio caused Tampa Bay to turn to a pair of rookie receivers in Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries and mix tight ends Cameron Brate, Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker into the passing game. Quarterback Jameis Winston targeted those five Bucs 15 times and they responded with nine receptions for 98 yards and Brate’s first professional touchdown.

“Any time you lose somebody you get to see other people step up, like Cam Brate,” Winston said Wednesday when asked about not having Seferian-Jenkins in the lineup. “What an amazing game for [Brate] to have his first touchdown at Atlanta. So that was big for him. But to have Austin back in the mix is important for our offense because that first game he led our team in receiving touchdowns and it’s just good to have your weapons back.”

Seferian-Jenkins said the other injuries and Tampa Bay needing to dig deep into its depth chart doesn’t make him want to get back any more or any less – he just wants to go no matter what.

“I want to get back out there regardless if those guys are down or up. I want to be playing football. This is what I do, this is what I love and not to be out there really sucks, but we’ve got some brothers that are down right now and you’ve got to step up like they’ve stepped up when I was out. You just want to be out there regardless if anyone’s down or not. You don’t want anyone to go down to make you feel like you’ve got to be out there more. I want to be out there just as much.”

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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nitey
nitey
6 years ago

We need to consider moving on from ASJ and looking at another TE in the draft. This guy is hurt way too much for the kind of production we get out of him. JMO.

chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  nitey
6 years ago

I’m normally a wait and see kind of guy. After all injuries happen, but when you know what McCoy has been doing with his injury and then what Evans did when he was sick on the sidelines I find it hard for a man whose making good money to just sit and wait till he’s 100%. Our recieving core is so depleted and all this guy can say is I want to wait till I’m fully recovered? Weak and soft. I had high hopes for this guy when the bucs drafted him and I hope he rights whatever is wronging… Read more »

Deacon Blues
Deacon Blues
6 years ago

ASJ needs to pull off the panties and man-up. No player is 100% 8 weeks in. He soft and mushy like a boobie. You tackle him once and he’s hurt.

macabee
macabee
6 years ago

The Kwon Alexander effort given the circumstances he was playing under in Atlanta was extraordinary. That brings me to examine the effort that players give under usual and ordinary circumstances during the season. I am now beginning to question the resolve of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (ASJ) and his commitment to “win or die” football for the Bucs. I saw Mike Evans throwing up his guts and writhing in pain on the sideline from cramps, but putting forth a gallant effort to stay on the field and come home with the win! At this point in the season, pretty much everybody has… Read more »

Dude
Dude
Reply to  macabee
6 years ago

Well said, and you took the words right out of my head. Just look at Drew Brees, who also suffered a shoulder injury that same game. When his situation was discussed on the NFL Network by one of the doctors who comes on those shows ( I don’t remember which one) He said Brees’ shoulder injury was one of the most painful to deal with. But that didn’t stop Brees. He missed one game, and he is a QB who uses his injured shoulder much more throughout a game than what ASJ does. So I’m really beginning to question this… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
6 years ago

McCoy has been playing with a bad shoulder since the second game of the season. Has taken some heat because of his play but he is out there every week doing battle with his brothers because he knows they need him. Then we have the sissy Jenkins. Somehow if this guy gets a hangnail he would take himself out of a game. Wish we could get something for him in a trade but he hasn’t played enough for anyone to be interested in him so we are stuck with him. Brandon Myers and Cameron Brate are both very capable pass… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
6 years ago

Well said macabee. Forgot about the effort Evans put in last week. Truly memorable.
Wish Jenkins could take some inspiration and lessons from McCoy, Evans and Alexander.

Dy-nasty D
Dy-nasty D
6 years ago

He says he’s 100% to his coaches, but they hold him back.

I don’t know what the rest of you were reading….

martinii
martinii
6 years ago

In Nam we had guys you couldn’t get out of the bush regardless of their wounds. Then we had guys that sat on the perimeter with their arms held high hoping to catch a small piece of shrapnel (3 and out.) Jenkins reminds me of the latter.

Horse
Horse
6 years ago

If your shoulder isn’t ready to go after 6 weeks then he should have been put on IR and had surgery. I am assuming, but this appears to be a shoulder separation and be won’t be a 100% until he has surgery. I feel the same as others; time to man up Jenkins and get out there and play thru the pain. Been there done that. You’re doing your team no good sitting on the sidelines looking pretty.

scubog
scubog
6 years ago

Wow you guys are really tough on a guy whose injury or its’ severity, you know virtually nothing about. Given the comments here, we Bucs fans must have piled up the unused sick days at our places of employment. I’m pretty sure the medical staff at least has some input whether it’s advisable for ASJ to play and not just him being afraid to work at his chosen profession. I suppose the Giants fans are equally upset with the ailing Victor Cruz and Cowboys fans are just as annoyed with some guy named Romo, whose absence has left them impotent… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  scubog
6 years ago

Romo’s a broken collar bone is on schedule to return shortly. Shoulder injury’s are usually fixed via rest to the injured area or surgery. I had no payed sick days as I was my own boss and dealt with it for decades. I did separate my shoulder and dislocate it numerous times before opting some 30 years later to have it reconstructed. I’m just giving you what I know about shoulder injury. There’s been no talk of a broken shoulder so it has to be socket, muscle/ligament/tendon tear of some sorts. at some point you have to try it out… Read more »

jme0151
jme0151
6 years ago

It would be nice if they gave us the info on his shoulder. Sprain….tear….????? All I have seen is his shoulder is hurt. Hard to determine the guys desire when you don’t know the total picture.

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
6 years ago

He will return when healthy and perform like he was prior to the injury. Moving on from is the last thing we need to do. For those praising McCoy for playing through his current injury must have forgotten the injuries that plagues him earlier in his career that had ppl questioning his heart. It’s just an unfortuante start to what can still end up a long and promising career. Losing talent is the last thing this roster needs, get healthy and help the Bucs ASJ!

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
6 years ago

I’m with and @stlbucsfan…the guy is hurt, the medical staff are on it, he has given no indication of not wanting to play when he was suited-up (@martini, that would be the equivalent of your colleagues from nam sticking their arms in the air). Injuries happen – sometimes they are annoying injuries that guys play through (like GMC this year) and sometimes the doctors tell you sorry man but you’re not playing (like GMC in his first two years). Let’s all calm down on the ASJ is a bust talk please.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  EastEndBoy
6 years ago

McCoys injuries were due to muscle tear and required surgery; we were told that from the get go. I don’t know why Smith is so secretive about an injury. He could help the cause by giving the doctor’s description of the injury. they have to provide it to the NFL anyway.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
Reply to  Horse
6 years ago

I gave up on Lovie’s descriptions of injuries long ago…according to him Banks could have gone back in the Tex game, but instead he sat out 3 weeks…what sort of injury is harmless enough that it won’t slow you at all right now, but if you give it a few hours it will debilitate you for a month…

76Buc
76Buc
6 years ago

Trade him while we can. He’s another “hot tubber” ala Wally Chambers. Let’s name him the “Admiral”. Lol.

Dude
Dude
Reply to  76Buc
6 years ago

The “Admiral” that’s too funny! I will forever call him the “Admiral!”

Entre
Entre
6 years ago

I can’t comment on the severity of his injury, and I do not think he should be traded. The problem is that he and Lovie keeps saying he is close to returning. That just gets the fans hopes up that he will play, and then he doesn’t. The original timeline when he got injured was for him to come back against Washington after the bye week. That entire week there were quotes from ASJ and Lovie that ASJ was close to being 100% and that he could play against Washington. That was two weeks ago. How are you close to… Read more »

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