Koetter: Bucs thankful DT Vea avoided major injury


First-round pick Vita Vea will miss some time with a left calf injury, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were relieved that the defensive tackle didn't sustain a more serious injury, head coach Dirk Koetter said Tuesday.

"It's better than we thought," Koetter told reporters of Vea's injury. "What Vita described when it happened was what you would think if a guy tore his Achilles, which would be a year-long injury. Thankfully, it was not that.

"It's a calf injury and he's going to be out for right now, but it's not what it could have been."

Koetter added Vea will be out for "a little bit" but declined to give a more specific timeline. The 6-foot-4, 347-pound tackle attended Monday's practice while using a scooter with his foot in a walking boot, and he stood with some weight on the leg toward the end of the session.

Vea, 23, was carted off the field on Sunday after getting hurt during the team's first padded practice of camp. The 12th overall pick from April's draft has drawn praise from Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

"He's doing very good," Smith told reporters earlier in camp. "He's a big, strong anchor point, and he can rush the passer, so we're excited. It's early. We've got to just keep tugging along and find out the right mix."

Koetter also told reporters Tuesday that veteran cornerback Brent Grimes "got a little banged up" but shouldn't miss much more than Tuesday's session.

"It's nothing serious," Koetter said of Grimes' injury. "It's something that will just keep him out a day or so."

Grimes, who turned 35 on July 19, has missed just four games in the past five seasons, although three of those came last season.

--Field Level Media

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