The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have only been back on the gridiron for a few days of training camp, but the injuries are already starting.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off training camp on Thursday and held an open practice on Sunday. However, unfortunately for Bucs fans, that just means they had a front-row seat to watching their first-round draft pick go down with an injury.
During the open practice on Sunday, Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea, whom the team selected at No. 12 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, went down with what appeared to be a left leg injury.
After suffering the injury and limping to the bench to get his left shin wrapped, Vea could be seen leaving the practice field on a cart a few minutes later:
The first-round pick had been impressing coach Dirk Koetter back in OTAs with his ability to displace guards with one arm.
“I mean, you can ask those guards that are playing against him,” Koetter said during offseason training in May. “I mean, he’s got a move with that inside arm; I’ve seen him left 300-pound men off the ground with one arm. It’s impressive, his strength.”
Vea had been lining up at the DT spot in the second-team base defense formation so far in camp, but expectations were high for him heading into the 2018 season.
Injuries are an unfortunate corollary of training camp, especially for rookies, who are excited to get out there and show their teammates and fans what they can do. Early on, injury reports seem to float out of camp at a faster clip as players feel out whether they’re in football shape or not.
Obviously, this is a more than frustrating development for Vea, himself, primarily, but also for his teammates and the fans who were hoping he could spark the Bucs defense this season. We’ll hold off on entering full freakout mode until we learn the extent of the injury and whether he’s expected to miss any time.