Less than a day after an aberration of a loss to Washington, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received some good news.
Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea, who left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, doesn’t have as serious of an injury as first thought.
Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed reports that Vea’s MRI showed a bone bruise and “maybe a slight” MCL sprain. Vea’s MRI news first came via Greg Auman of The Athletic and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
“That’s really good news,” Arians said about Vea in Monday’s press conference. “Don’t know his availability for this week yet, but he’s a tough guy. He’s had that thing before, so he knows how to deal with it.”
Arians added it will come down to how soon the 346-pound lineman “can bear weight” on his knee.
Bucs linebacker Devin White praying couldn’t have hurt. White told the media on Sunday that he’s “praying for Vita Vea” per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Last season, Vea suffered an ankle injury in Week 5 and missed the rest of the regular season but made it back to the field in the playoffs. He played sparingly in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.
Vea tallied 18 tackles, a sack, and fumble recovery for the season before exiting the Washington game in the fourth quarter on a cart. He “felt something in his knee” according to Bucs head coach Bruce Arians in Sunday’s postgame press conference.
Richard Sherman Still in Limbo
Bucs cornerback Richard Sherman looked ready to go for Sunday’s game until a calf injury crept up during warmups.
He sat out the game instead as the Bucs secondary surrendered 256 yards passing and a touchdown by Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, undrafted in 2015 out of Old Dominion. Cornerback Dee Delaney filled in for Sherman.
“Sherm strained his calf before the game,” Arians said on Monday. “I doubt seriously if he’ll be back anytime soon.”
“He was fine Thursday and Friday,” Arians added. “I thought he was going to have a heck of a ballgame. He just strained his calf before the ballgame, so don’t know how long it’ll be.”
Arians couldn’t confirm if Sherman will land on injured reserve since the veteran hadn’t received an MRI yet. Sherman played three games in 11 days for the Bucs after joining the team late September. He injured his hamstring in Week 6 and hadn’t played since.
Bucs’ MASH Unit Still Crowded
Tampa Bay has a ways to go for getting healthy as the second half of the regular season commences.
Arians hasn’t given a timetable on Brown, who injured his ankle in Week 6, but the star receiver didn’t land on injured reserve. Brown appeared at practice last week without a boot for the ankle.
Meanwhile, receiver Scotty Miller and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting could come off injured reserve soon. The Bucs also have cornerback Carlton Davis III and long snapper Zach Triner on injured reserve.
That’s just the players who either start or play major snaps. The Bucs also have Rashard Robinson, Sadarius Hutcherson, and Justin Watson out.