Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Misses Practice Again

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be without one of their premier defensive players when they visit the Cleveland Browns in Week 12. Defensive tackle Vita Vea missed his second straight practice today, putting his availability into question for Sunday. Vea apparently suffered a foot injury in the Bucs' Week 10 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Munich, Germany. The injury didn't have much of a negative effect on the game; Vea played his typical allotment of snaps and the Bucs held the Seahawks to a minuscule 39 rushing yards on 14 attempts.

Considering the Bucs are coming out of their bye, Vea's absence in consecutive practices doesn't bode well for his prospects of playing this week. The key to the Bucs' often dominant run defense, Vea is the team's highest-paid defensive player and has already notched a career-high 6.5 sacks this season. His unavailability could be devastating against the Browns and their fifth-ranked rushing attack.

Vea joined the Bucs as their 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after three years with the Washington Huskies. He emerged as one of the league's elite run stuffers in his second year, leading the Buccaneers to three consecutive top-three finishes in rushing yards allowed from 2019 to 2021. He won a Super Bowl with the team in 2020. 
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