Coming off a 30-10 victory over the Giants on Monday Night Football, the Bucs were all smiles on Tuesday. Head coach Bruce Arians gave everyone more reason to be happy with a positive injury update as well. Following a game in which the Bucs got cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and tight end Rob Gronkowski back on the field, more reinforcements could be on the way soon.
Tampa Bay lost defensive tackle Vita Vea on the last defensive play against Washington. The fourth-year starter was carted off with a knee injury, but it turned out to be just a bone bruise and a mild sprain. Vea was a game-time decision against the Giants, but didn’t play. On Tuesday, Arians sounded optimistic about the star defensive tackle’s availability in Week 12 against the Colts.
“Vita should be ready to go,” Arians said. “He was real, real close [against the Giants]. With not having any practice last week, I didn’t really wanna put him out there. Guys stepped up, Stevie [McLendon] stepped up.”
Vea’s presence will be helpful against the Colts vaunted rushing attack. Indianapolis is currently fourth in the NFL in rushing.
Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
As for Carlton Davis, his window to return could begin this week. Davis has been out with a quad injury since Week 4. Over the past week, the Bucs top cornerback has been running on the side at practice.
“Carlton, we’ll wait and see,” Arians said. “Hopefully we can activate him to start practicing this week.”
If Davis’ practice window opens this week, that means he’ll have 21 days to be activated to the roster. Assuming it isn’t a quick turnaround, Davis likely won’t play against Indianapolis. However, he could return for Week 13 against the Falcons. At the latest, Davis would likely be back for the big showdown with the Bills in Week 14.
The Bucs would love to have wide receiver Antonio Brown back soon as well. A few hours after activating Scotty Miller from injured reserve, the Bucs are still uncertain when Brown could return. Arians indicated that the former All-Pro receiver will be evaluated for a potential return from injury this week. Brown sprained his ankle in Week 6 against the Eagles.
“AB, he’s making progress,” Arians said. “We’ll wait and see Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday will probably be a walk-through. But we’ll see Thursday for sure.”
A few days ago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Brown had a “real chance” to play against the Colts. His practice status this week should determine his availability.
The Bucs travel to Indianapolis on Sunday to battle the 6-5 Colts.
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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