Vea, who was credited with four solo tackles in a Week 17 loss to the Falcons, finished his rookie season with 28 tackles (21 solo), including two for loss, and three sacks across 13 games.
A calf injury that Vea suffered in a July 29 camp practice cost the rookie significant time, delaying his NFL debut until Week 4 against the Bears. Vea was then held off the stat sheet in his first two games, and he managed just 3.5 total tackles over the subsequent five contests. His season finally started trending in the right direction Week 12 against the 49ers, and he finished the campaign averaging 4.2 stops over the final six games of the season. Despite Vea's massive presence in the middle, the Buccaneers still allowed over six more rushing yards per game in 2018 than the year prior -- 123.9, compared to 117.5 in 2017 -- so the hope is a full training camp and regular season in 2019 will help both Vea and the team statistically.