Vita Vea questionable for Bucs’ must-win game against Falcons

Notes | Also, head coach Todd Bowles says everything is fine regarding his relationship with receiver Chris Godwin.
The Bucs are hoping defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) will be good to go for Sunday's key division game with Atlanta.
The Bucs are hoping defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) will be good to go for Sunday's key division game with Atlanta. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Dec. 8, 2023|Updated Dec. 8, 2023

TAMPA — Vita Vea was out on the field for practice Friday after missing the first two days with a toe injury. That means the Bucs will have more time to decide if the defensive tackle can play in Sunday’s crucial game at Atlanta.

“He’ll be questionable,” head coach Todd Bowles said.

Bowles ruled out cornerback Jamel Dean and linebacker Devin White for the NFC South rematch. Dean has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. White also missed last week’s win over the Panthers with a foot injury. Linebacker K.J. Britt (back), who was a full participant in practice for two days, is also questionable for Sunday.

The good news is that the Bucs will have linebacker Lavonte David (groin) back for Sunday. Bowles said that’s a huge gain for Tampa Bay.

“From a leadership standpoint,” Bowles said of the impact David’s return will have, “because he’s one of the guys we’d look to on defense, especially the younger guys, and he makes a bunch of plays as well so it helps us out a lot.”

All good with Godwin

Chris Godwin, who had a scheduled day of rest Thursday, was back on the field Friday. The wide receiver on Thursday addressed his wife Mariah’s social media posts challenging Bowles’ explanation for Godwin’s decline in catches this season. Godwin said he met with Bowles and offensive coordinator Dave Canales that morning and there was no lingering ill will between them.

Bowles reiterated that Friday.

“We are great. We’ve been great,” Bowles said when asked about Godwin. “There’s nothing else to talk about.”

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