The Falcons have a clean bill of health for the second consecutive week as the club travels to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers for sole possession of the NFC South after the Saints fell on Thursday Night Football.
Both are coming off embarrassing losses. Atlanta had every chance to beat Washington at home, but the Commanders took advantage of three Desmond Ridder interceptions. The Bucs were dominated by the Lions as the division rivals look to end a potential losing streak before it gets started.
The Falcons are fully healthy, and their opponents are mostly healthy, but one key player is in danger of missing the game.
Final injury report for Bucs and Falcons — Vita Vea and Anthony Nelson are questionable and that’s it. Clean bill of health for Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/k97w6Rwhwq
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 20, 2023
The biggest question after Thursday’s report was the absence of defensive tackle Vita Vea.
The mountain of a man practiced in a limited capacity on Friday after suffering a setback on Wednesday. Todd Bowles seemingly alluded to Vea playing on Sunday, implying the foot is just sore and the time off would enable him to go in a couple of days.
Anthony Nelson needs to clear concussion protocol to play, but Vita Vea’s presence or absence is a game-altering situation to follow. The Buccaneers are stout against the run, and the 350-pound Vea is a primary reason for that.
However, an underrated part of his game is rushing the passer. He currently leads the Bucs in sacks and provides an immense push on the center of pockets. When a quarterback can’t step up, it limits them severely. Vita Vea is a game-wrecker and one that Atlanta has to game-plan for; this is a big one.