Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea has a broken leg and is likely done for the season, head coach Bruce Arians said Friday.
Vea sustained the injury with 1:50 left in Thursday night’s 20-19 loss to the Chicago Bears. He was tackling running back David Montgomery when his right ankle got crushed to the turf under the weight of Bucs linebacker Devin White. Vea was carted off the field.
“Vita’s got a broken leg and (will) probably miss the rest of the season,” Arians said. “It’ll be a big loss. (When) you lose players like O.J. (Howard) and Vita, you can plug the next man in, but they’re not the same. I hate it for him because he was having such a great year.”
Vea, 25, sacked Bears quarterback Nick Foles in the third quarter and has 10 tackles and two sacks in five starts this season.
The 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Vea has registered 73 tackles, 19 quarterback hits and 7.5 sacks in 34 career games.
Howard, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2017, is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in the Week 4 win against the Los Angeles Chargers.