Buccaneers DT Vita Vea leaves practice with injury
Bad news for second-year Tampa Bay Buccaneer Vita Vea, as he reportedly left practice with an injury today. According to Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times, Vea went down during a routine one-on-one drill.
While the injury doesn’t look too serious at this point, there’s no telling just yet. It seems to be a knee injury but could be anything from a sprain to an ACL tear. Vea was hurt last year in camp and ended up missing three regular-season games because of a calf strain.
The former Washington Huskie is expected to be an important part of the Tampa Bay defense this year. New coach Bruce Arians brought a transition to a 3-4 defense, where Vea is a natural fit. The massive 340-pound man seems like he was built in a lab to play nose tackle in this type of defense.
But the injury to Vea has forced the Buccaneers to move new signee Ndamukong Suh to nose tackle, taking Suh out of his natural defensive end spot. The Buccaneer run defense was ninth-worst in the league last year, and this move definitely doesn’t strengthen it.
Although the Bucs aren’t exactly seen as contenders, they have a shot at being a competitive team. In 2018, when their quarterback carousel landed on the right man for the week, they looked unstoppable. But inconsistency plagued their offense, and injuries and poor play were the norm for the defense.
If Bruce Arians can get the best out of Jameis Winston, and the defense plays to its potential, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may surprise everyone and snag a playoff berth.