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  1. Bucs

Bucs first round pick Vita Vea suffered a calf injury in practice Sunday but team is hopeful it’s not serious

Vea limped off the field after being injured early in practice defending a run play. The Bucs believe it may only be a calf strain
MONICA HERNDON | Times Defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) talks to the press during Buccaneers rookie minicamp on May 11, 2018 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility in Tampa, Fla.
Published Jul. 29, 2018
Updated Jul. 29, 2018

Bucs first round pick Vita Vea suffered a left calf injury on a run play during an 11-on-11 period in training camp Sunday. It's believed to be a strain, but the defensive tackle will be evaluated further.

The Bucs made Vea the 12th overall pick in the draft from Washington and considers him a huge addition to the defense, especially against the run.

Sunday was the first time the Bucs have been in full pads and temperatures were in the upper 80's during the morning practice.

At 6-foot-4, 347-pounds, Vea has heretofore handled the heat pretty well during the off-season. But there are few places hotter in the NFL during training camp than Tampa.

The Bucs are hoping to use Vea alongside Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in a rotation that also will include former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen and former Bears defensive tackle Mitch Unrein.

Any time missed by Vea in training camp or the preseason could slow his development, but the Bucs may be breathing a sigh of relief it's not more serious.

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said Vea had been performing well early in camp.

"He's doing very good,'' Smith said. "He's a big strong anchor point and he can rush the passer. So we're excited. It's early. We've got to just keep tugging along and find out the right (defensive line) mix.''

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