Report: Vita Vea Won't Need Surgery on Knee Injury, to Miss 'Minimal' Game Time

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) battles against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea will reportedly miss "minimal" game time after suffering a knee injury.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported no surgery will be required, and he could return within the first four weeks of the regular season.

The 24-year-old had an injury-plagued 2018 season. A calf strain cost him the entire preseason and the first three games of the 2018 season. He also had a knee scare after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, with the team initially fearing he had torn his ACL before tests revealed no structural damage.

"I knew I was fine," Vea said after that scare, per Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. "I knew nothing was wrong. I think the doctors were just being cautious about it."

Vea hit the ground running a bit slowly during his rookie campaign due to missing time at the start of the season. But expectations remain high for the second-year player, who was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 draft and was selected to solidify the interior for the Bucs alongside the since-departed Gerald McCoy.

While injuries limited his impact as a rookie, the Washington product showed flashes of the talent that made him a first-round pick. 

The Bucs will be hoping his injury concerns early in his career won't become a consistent storyline, however.

With Vea sidelined, Ndamukong Suh and Beau Allen will handle the defensive tackle duties, with Rakeem Nunez-Roches also available for the interior rotation.