Bucs’ Vita Vea Out for Two Months with Sprained LCL

Vita Vea in 2018. Photo by Albert Pena/Csm/Shutterstock

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense is taking some big hits this offseason. After losing their Pro Bowl rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to a neck injury, Bucs’ now saw their young star defensive tackle Vita Vea also going down.

According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Vea suffered a lateral collateral ligament injury on his left knee during blocking drills on practice. He underwent two MRI tests, which showed that he won’t have to undergo surgery.

The 24-year-old is still expected to miss two months, but Tampa Bay is reportedly hopeful that he might be back in time for their season opener on September 8th.

Vita Vea, who was Buccaneers’ 12th overall pick in 2018, also missed team’s training camp in his rookie season as he nurtured calf muscle injury. He ended up coming back in Week 4 to make his NFL debut and managed to put together a promising year in which he had 28 tackles and 3.0 sacks.

Losing Vea would be a terrible blow for Tampa Bay, especially since Pierre-Paul might be forced to sit out the entire 2019. The team is also dealing with other injuries of their defensive players, including linebacker Lavonte David who recently underwent “minor” surgery to repair a knee injury.