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.