The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered a tough loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football, but the Week 5 defeat is coming with an even bigger loss. Defensive tackle Vita Vea was carted off with an ankle injury, and on Friday it is being reported as a broken ankle, per multiple reports.
Vea is undergoing further testing to confirm, but if it is a broken ankle, he will be done for the season.
This is a huge blow to a Bucs defensive front that had been extremely solid through the first quarter of the season. Entering Thursday’s game, they ranked third in adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate at Football Outsiders. On Thursday, Vea had a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss, and the Bucs defense held David Montgomery to 29 yards.
This is a big downgrade for the Bucs defense from both a fantasy perspective and a betting perspective. They still have talent on that side of the ball, but losing arguably their best player is huge. The Bucs are scheduled to host Green Bay next week, and it’s safe to say Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will be licking their lips at the chance to face the Bucs front line.