Bucs DT Vita Vea in a boot with calf injury, but could be worse

Bucs DT Vita Vea's calf injury had him in a boot Tuesday, but it wasn't as severe as originally feared by the team.(GREG AUMAN | Times)
Bucs DT Vita Vea's calf injury had him in a boot Tuesday, but it wasn't as severe as originally feared by the team.(GREG AUMAN | Times)
Published July 31

Bucs first-round pick Vita Vea watched practice Tuesday with a boot on his left foot, pushing himself around on a scooter, but coach Dirk Koetter said the prognosis on his calf injury is better than was once feared.

"Vita, it was better than we thought," Koetter said. "What Vita described when it happened was what you would think if a guy tore his Achilles, which would be a year-long injury. Thankfully, it was not that. It's a calf injury and he's going to be out for right now but it's not what it could have been. So, in that respect, we're better off than we thought we were."

Asked for a timetable for Vea, still nearly six weeks before the regular-season opener, Koetter would only say he's out "for a little bit," promising to give an update "in a little bit."

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Starting cornerback Brent Grimes watched practice as well, though he had no obvious signs of a specific injury. Koetter said he was "a little banged up" but something that would "just keep him out a day or so."

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, who missed two days over the weekend after suffering a laceration on his lower right leg that required stitches, was back at practice in a limited capacity, wearing a sleeve over his lower leg.

The Bucs were without backup tackle Leonard Wester, who suffered what looked like an ankle injury late in Sunday's practice. Koetter said the injury is "not as serious as it might have been" and "nothing in the long term."

Wester could still miss multiple weeks, with Cole Gardner filling in as the first-team right tackle while Dotson eases his way back from knee surgery. Despite the depth concerns at tackle, the Bucs kept rookie Alex Cappa inside at guard, though Koetter said not to read much into anything yet.

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