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Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea expected to miss rest of the season after breaking leg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea has a broken leg and is likely done for the season, head coach Bruce Arians said on Friday.

Vea sustained the injury with 1:50 left in Thursday night’s 20-19 loss to the Chicago Bears when his right ankle got crushed to the turf under the weight of Bucs linebacker Devin White while tackling running back David Montgomery.

“Vita’s got a broken leg and (will) probably miss the rest of the season,” Arians said. “It’ll be a big loss. (When) you lose players like O.J. (Howard) and Vita, you can plug the next man in, but they’re not the same. I hate it for him because he was having such a great year.”

Vea sacked Bears quarterback Nick Foles in the third quarter and has 10 tackles and two sacks in five starts this season.

The 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Vea has registered 73 tackles, 19 quarterback hits and 7.5 sacks in 34 career games.

Tight end Howard, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2017, is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in the Week Four win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cowboys’ LT Smith to have neck surgery, out for year

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Friday that left tackle Tyron Smith will have neck surgery next week and miss the rest of the 2020 season.

“My understanding is, it’s something that’s he’s been dealing with for some time,” McCarthy said.

“If he doesn’t have the surgery, he’ll just continue to deal with this in the manner of how this season has gone. I mean, this is something that needs to be done.”

Smith started two games this season, playing every offensive snap in both the season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams and last Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The 29-year-old is midway through an eight-year, $97.6m contract that runs through the 2024 season. The ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro (2014, 2016). He hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2015.

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