For any Bucs fan holding onto a small ray of hope that defensive tackle Vita Vea could return deep into the playoffs this season, don’t hold your breath. According to head coach Bruce Arians, the key Bucs currently on injured reserve are probably going to stay there.
“I doubt it very seriously,” Arians said when asked about the possibility of Vea or tight end O.J. Howard returning from injury at some point this season. “O.J. for sure cannot. They’re both doing really, really well, I see them a lot. Even Vita, I doubt very seriously even all the way to the end (of the playoffs) that he would be ready. I think his is a six-month recovery.”
Howard suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. The recovery time on such an injury is often double-digit months, so there was no expectation that Howard would return before next season.
But some believed Vea may have an outside shot, depending on the severity of his broken ankle suffered in Week 5, and any ligament damage that might have occurred. But a six-month recovery would put Vea’s availability closer to the beginning of April, far too late to make an impact again during the 2020 season.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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