After suffering a broken ankle against the Chicago Bears in Week 5, the Bucs designated defensive tackle Vita Vea for a return from the injured reserve on Monday, allowing the third-year lineman to return to practice.
“He walked real good because that’s all we did today, we had a walkthrough,” Arians said on Wednesday. “That was a really physical game last week and it’s that time of the year where we don’t need to be beating on each other.”
Arians added that Vea has been working out and conditioning over previous weeks, working up to his return to practice and opening up the possibility for him to play against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship on Sunday.
“We’ll see him move around more tomorrow,” Arians said. “I’ve watched him run for the last few weeks to get in shape and he looks good.”
Arians was asked about the possibility of Vea returning late in the postseason about a month ago, but ruled it out due to the severity of his ankle injury. But Arians said just after that inquiry things turned around for Vea.
“It was about three weeks ago,” Arians said. “We saw him running in the pool and then on the Ultra G and it was like, ‘Man, he’s getting close.’ Once I finally saw him outside running … and he wanted to play. That was the big part – he wanted to come back. I said, ‘Hey, we’ll keep winning and you keep working and it will work out.’ And it has.”
Vea’s status will likely become more clear throughout the week and Pewter Report will provide updates as Tampa Bay’s first injury report of the week is released and the Bucs’ week of practice in preparation for Sunday’s game progresses.