Vita Vea didn’t play when the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers back in November.
At that point, he was about seven weeks removed from fracturing his ankle in Tampa Bay’s Week 5 loss to Chicago.
But the young defensive tackle is back, having come off injured reserve to suit up for the NFC Championship Game. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes knows Vea’s presence will make a difference.
“He’s a guy that you’ve got to know where he’s at every single play,” Mahomes said Wednesday. “He obviously is super disruptive in the run game, but he’s just as good as a pass rusher. You don’t see guys like that — playing that position, that can rush the passer like that — that much. For him, he’s a special talent and I’ll have to know where ehe’s at every single play in order to not let him disrupt the entire game.”
Vea played 46 percent of the defensive snaps two weeks ago when the Bucs beat the Packers to advance to Super Bowl LV. With more time for the ankle to heal between games, Vea could command more attention from Kansas City’s offensive line.