Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea let out an audible groan as he went to the ground helping drag down David Montgomery for a tackle for loss. Replays showed why, as the big DT's ankle got crushed into the turf late in the fourth quarter of the Bucs' 20-19 loss in Chicago.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians confirmed Friday that Vea suffered a broken leg and is out for the rest of the season.
"It's a big, big loss," Arians lamented.
It's a brutal ending for one of the best big men in the game, and a key to Tampa's stout run defense. Vea was off to a phenomenal start to the 2020 campaign, collapsing the pocket like it was a whoopee cushion and blowing up ball carriers. There aren't many people on the planet with Vea's combination of size, speed and strength.
Vea compiled two sacks and 10 tackles through five games, with three QB hits and three tackles for loss. Thursday night alone, he generated a sack and three tackles, one for loss. He was on pace for a career-year before the injury.