After returning to practice this week from a fractured ankle suffered in Week 5, it looks like defensive tackle Vita Vea is going to play in the NFC Championship as Peter Schrager first reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are activating him for the game.

Bruce Arians said on Friday that there was a chance that he could be activated, and that decision came rather quickly following his press conference. While Wednesday’s practice was a walkthrough, Vea could be seen getting reps on Thursday hitting the sled during a drill in the portion of practice open to the media, along with running in short bursts to test out the injured ankle.

“He’s looked real good,” Arians said. “He’s been running around for almost three weeks. He had a real good practice yesterday and a good one today.”

Though it’s uncertain how many snaps he would get in the game, Vea would provide an important upgrade to the Bucs’ interior defensive line alongside Ndamukong Suh. It could open up better pass rushing opportunities for edge rushers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.

“Vita was off to a hot start before the unfortunate thing happened that he got injured.” Linebacker Lavonte David said on Wednesday. “Just watching him around, he always had in his mind that if we take care of business, he’d be able to come back. We’re in this position right now, he did everything he’s supposed to do as far as treatment and getting the injury ready to go. I know he’s in great spirits and he’s feeling good.”

Vea had 10 tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hits in five games on the season before his injury.

The Bucs head to Lambeau Field to play against the Green Bay Packers at 3:05 on Sunday for the NFC Championship.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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drdneast
4 months ago

Nice and fresh. No nicks or bruises. Time to eat.

EricNV
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

On the menu Sunday is Aaron Rogers and a trio of RBs. Rogers might be a little bony for the big man, but those RBs should be good eating!

NaplesFan2.0
4 months ago

LFG Vea!! Is it Sunday yet? Beat these boys up in the trenches and it will be a Bucs win!

eaustinyoung
4 months ago

What can I say except youre welcome

Buc-in-Philly Fan
4 months ago

Too soon Man! We will need him next year too. I think this is short sighted. This is a 350lb man trying to move other 350lb men. His timing will be off and he will be taking snaps from someone who has their timing.

I hope this works but I don’t think it is worth the risk on several different levels.
Go Bucs!

Michael76
Reply to  Buc-in-Philly Fan
4 months ago

Vita will undoubtedly be on a pitch count.

But one tag team with Suh, leaving White untouched up the middle will have Jon talking about it in his game changer narrative. You’ll see the indecisive, flustered qb whose disappeared in many important games after being hit. GB fans will again be reminded why many still consider Farve their greatest QB

In a choice between him and AB availability, Vita will have more influence on this games outcome. 2.7ypa vs 3.9ypa when he is playing… and even the pressure rate increases from 26% to 39%.

Spitfire
Reply to  Michael76
4 months ago

That will be the key. I wanna see that lost look on Rodgers face again, like he wasn’t sure where he was and was praying for the game to be over already. He may find some success Sunday but our guys are not gonna lay down and let anyone get away with anything for too long. They are fired up and hungry. Hearing it straight outta Whites mouth that they were unsure of their identity only to know it now and know what they have to do is the greatest thing I’ve heard all year from our Defense. They have… Read more »

plopes808
Reply to  Buc-in-Philly Fan
4 months ago

This is the biggest game for this team in a decade and you think we should save Vita for next year? That’s crazy, he has all offseason to heal up. Even in limited snaps, we will all see the difference this kid makes.

Ja'crispy
4 months ago

Wow thats incredible! Vea back just in time! You know having Vea back is going to get the defense pumped up.

Horse
4 months ago

I got to believe that he took some snaps today against offensive lineman to confirm he was okay?

Spitfire
4 months ago

Great news! Defense is what we need! Beas presence will only help! Welcome back big guy!

TBChucky
4 months ago

Vita! Vita! I don’t see any negative about him returning, personally. Whatever he can give will be a huge boost! My prediction, Vita gets a. Sack on Rodgers! GO BUCS!!

SenileSenior
Reply to  TBChucky
4 months ago

I second that!
The timing was great as we had no expectations of seeing him return before next season. Even if he is a bit “rusty” he can contribute something to the needed effort. The Packers are playing at a championship level and a win would be fantastic of course! It’s all or nothing time!
No matter what the final score, this one should go down to the wire!
____________
Go Bucs!!!

scubog
4 months ago

Where is Buc Ass Bob to remind us Kool Aide drinkers that Vita Vea is “fat and out of shape”?
I presume #50 will play as much and for as long as he is effective. Get through this game knocking off the rust and he’ll really be ready in two weeks.

Eddie
4 months ago

Man, # 50 is huge.