The Buccaneers sent defensive tackle Vita Vea for an MRI on his knee earlier this week, but determined he needed to let the swelling go down and have another one on Friday in order to fully assess the injury.
That test is done and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that it shows Vea does not need surgery to repair the injury. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reported earlier this week that the Buccaneers’ hope was that Vea suffered an LCL sprain and the second test appears to show that’s the case.
While Vea doesn’t need surgery, he is expected to miss time in the regular season. Rapoport reports that the belief is that he can return at some point in the first four weeks of the regular season.
Assuming that’s correct, it would make two straight years that Vea has been sidelined to start the regular season. He had a calf injury last year and missed the first three games despite reports that he’d be healthy in time for Week One.