Lavonte David overcomes accidental knockdown hit from Vita Vea
Lavonte David dishes out punishing hits, but he isn't used to receiving them. But that's what happened in the second half of Sunday's 20-17 win over the Vikings, when the Pro Bowl linebacker collided with defensive tackle Vita Vea. David went to the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium as if he had been knocked out. But he was able to leave under his own power and returned after clearing a test for a concussion.

"Man, it's all love" David said. "It's football. You know, Vita was flying to the ball, and that's what I love about him. Guys that big, you don't get that many guys flying to the ball like that. So, that's my first time getting hit by friendly fire, too. I usually avoid those. I wish I would've avoided this one."

David, 33, returned on a one-year, $4.5 million contract as a free agent to play his 12th season for the Bucs. He was all over the field Sunday, recording eight tackles, including two for loss. Fellow linebacker Devin White led the Bucs with 12 tackles, one for a loss. Both players briefly had to leave the game. White went out for a few plays in the first half with a right leg injury but returned.

"He went out, I went out" David said. "We always have this little battle just trying to play every snap. I came out after my evaluation. I came out great. We're just going to see how (Monday) goes."

After the Bucs took the lead on Chase McLaughlin's 57-yard field goal with just over five minutes remaining, the defense forced the Vikings to go three-and-out. They never got the football again. "That's complementary football" David said. "Our ‘A' players played like ‘A' players (Sunday)."

The Tampa Bay Times, published 11 September 2023