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Buccaneers DT Vita Vea Won’t Need Knee Surgery Following Second MRI

The Buccaneers got some good news Friday on defensive tackle Vita Vea, who was at one point thought to have to have knee surgery.

The team sent Vea for an MRI on his knee earlier this week, and then the team let the swelling go down and he had another MRI today which gave the team hope.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com states that 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.

Three Questions About the Buccaneers as Training Camp Gets Going

With Dirk Koetter running the Bucs ship in 2018, the team got off to a shocking start in which they topped the Saints and Eagles to start the season.

With Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for tons of yards out of nowhere, the team sat at 3-3 after an overtime win over the Browns on October 21st.

Then the wheels came off, with poor play the rest of the season, the club went 2-8, ending the season at 5-11 and costing Koetter his job.

Now it’s former Cards coach Bruce Arians running the show, and hoping to turn things around for 2019 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at three questions about this team as camp gets rolling.

1. Arian’s Fingerprints

Bruce Arians brings a great resume to the Bucs, having led the Cards to three winning seasons out of five, including a 13-3 season in 2015.

He’ll make sure to voice his opinion to the current players on the roster, making sure they know that this is now his team, and he’s going to do whatever he can to turn around last seasons 5-11 mark.

Make no mistake, it’s Arian’s team, and he’s going to make it known early and often, and if someone doesn’t agree, they won’t be around long.

2. Winston’s Last Shot

With Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami, it’s now Jameis Winston’s team to run. He will during camp get every shot to be the guy once again, but you have to wonder if this is going to be the last chance for him to show what a #1 overall pick can do.

Winston last season threw for 19 touchdowns and 14 picks with a QB rating of 71.8. The team was 3-6 when he started.

The 24-year-old is 21-33 in four years as a starter, and while the Bucs have invested a ton into him over these last four seasons, he’s got to step up and show what he can do.

3. A Defense That Needs an Overhaul

Last season the Bucs were 31st in the league when it came to allowing points, and when you look at the schedule, they allowed 30 or more points in eight of 16 games.

Enter Todd Bowles, the former Jets coach who will now be in charge of running the defense and trying to get them back to where they need to be.

This D needs to do everything better, pressure the QB, stop the run and create turnovers.

Look for Bowles to be held accountable for the way this D plays in 2019.

Buccaneers Add TE Troy Niklas and CB Mazzi Wilkins to the Roster

The Bucs are tinkering with their 90-man roster as they get set to open up camp on Friday, and made a couple roster moves with that very roster on Wednesday.

The team signed former Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas and undrafted free agent cornerback Mazzi Wilkins.

Friday but the team still is finalizing their 90-man roster.

The Bucs on Wednesday signed former Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas and undrafted free agent cornerback Mazzi Wilkins.

Niklas was a second-round pick out of Notre Dame under Arians in 2014 and played his first four seasons under the Bucs new coach before sitting out 2018. He had 19 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns in 41 games, including 18 starts. Niklas spent last spring with the Patriots but was released in late July.

Wilkins is a former Plant High and USF player. He participated in the Bucs’ rookie minicamp in May. In 47 games with the Bulls, Wilkins had 110 career tackles and three interceptions.

Video: Charting a New Course: A Look Ahead at the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Video Look Ahead at the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers…

Bucs Ink Fifth Overall Pick LB Devin White to a Four-Year Deal

The Buccaneers have signed the fifth overall pick from the latest NFL Draft, Devin White to a four-year deal according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

White was late to sign but will not miss any training camp time. After letting Kwon Alexander walk in free agency, the Bucs are counting heavily on White as an every-down starter in the middle of Todd Bowles‘ defense.

A three-year starter at LSU, White won the 2018 Butkus Trophy as college football’s best linebacker and was named first team All-SEC for the second consecutive year.

Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and Panthers linebacker Brian Burns are the remaining unsigned first-round picks.

Check Out the Madden 20 Rankings for All the Buccaneers Players

Monday was a day that many gaming fans wait for each year, the day that the most popular sports series of all-time puts out their player rankings.

That game of course is Madden football, and this year Madden 20 is once again going to be a game played by millions who are into the NFL and video games.

One aspect of the game is player rankings, and the top Buccaneers player on the list was Mike Evans who comes in at 91.

Middle Linebacker Lavonte David comes in with a 90, while tackle Demar Dotson and guard Ali Marpet sit with an 88.

Check out all the Bucs Rankings by clicking HERE.

Video – Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

00:47 – 4-Minute Offense

2:31 – Positional Breakdown

7:32 – Hunt’s Playbook

11:13 – Fantasy Focus

14:53 – Best Bets

15:29 – Training Camp Quick Takes

18:39 Road to the Super Bowl

Could the Buccaneers Be a Team in the Mix to Trade for Browns RB Johnson?

The Buccaneers are “a team to watch” if Duke Johnson does leave Cleveland according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.com.

The Bucs undoubtedly have one of if not the weakest running back corps in the league headed by last year’s second-round bust Ronald Jones, journeyman Peyton Barber, and former Cardinals third-down back Andre Ellington.

Whether the Bucs are forced to make a move depends on the progress of Jones, who had about as miserable rookie season as could be imagined.

The Bucs coaching staff has repeatedly talked up Jones during OTAs and minicamp but many observers aren’t buying it, including some beat writers who predict that Barber will still be the leader in carries and yards.

Arians has traditionally preferred a one-man backfield. Johnson wants to be a lead back but never got the chance in Cleveland.

While he is likely more talented than any of the backs on Tampa’s roster, it is not know if his body would hold up as a bell cow back.

Clearly the Browns would have to change their minds about honoring Duke’s trade request. Johnson to the Bucs almost makes too much sense for the trade to happen.