Bucs 1st-Round Pick Vita Vea Carted Away After Calf Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2018

Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft pick Vita Vea meets the media during a news conference Friday, April 27, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Vea, a defensive lineman, played his college football at Washington. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea suffered a calf injury and was eventually carted off the practice field Sunday, per the Pewter Report and ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Tampa Bay made Vea a major part of its future when it selected him with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, and losing him for any time not only takes away part of its defensive line rotation but cuts into his development.

Vea thrived at the University of Washington and won the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year behind 43 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and four passes defended. He also helped lead Washington to the College Football Playoff in the 2016 season, where it lost to Alabama.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, it can still rely on one of the best defensive tackles in the league to shoulder more of the load with Gerald McCoy. It can also turn to the defensive line combination of Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein to plug holes in the middle of the defensive front.

Still, the hope in Tampa Bay will be that this injury doesn't linger and Vea is healthy to start the season to live up to expectations as such a high draft pick.

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