Less than a week after losing one of their key offensive contributors for the season in tight end O.J. Howard, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were dealt another devastating injury blow on the defensive side. Third-year defensive tackle Vita Vea exited Tampa Bay’s Thursday night contest against the Chicago Bears with a leg injury and according to head coach Bruce Arians, Vea has suffered a broken leg. Arians says Vea will likely miss the remainder of the season.
HC Bruce Arians says DL Vita Vea has a broken leg and will probably miss the rest of the season. Arians says it is a "big, big loss."
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) October 9, 2020
The Buccaneers feature a number of big names and though Vita Vea may not be the flashiest player on the team, the impact he made on their defensive front was immeasurable. Vea played in the middle of one of the best front sevens in the NFL, and served as an anchor on a defensive line which also features Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett.
Vea has been a force since entering the league in 2018 and was causing havoc again early this season. The Bucs drafted Vea with the 12th overall pick back in 2018 and thus far, he has developed into one of the premier nose tackles in the entire NFL.
After losing Howard last week and now Vea Thursday night, the Bucs are starting to get hammered by the injury bug. However, Tampa Bay features plenty of depth on their defensive line and remain a contender in the NFC. With Vea likely out for the season, expect tackles William Gholston and Rakeem Nunez-Roches to get more playing time in the middle.