Playing defensive tackle in the NFL is not often a glamorous job. Your job is, typically, to try and occupy as much space as humanly possible, making plays when able, but mostly taking on blockers to free up linebackers to run free to make tackles.
That means a lot of hand to hand combat on the interior of the line where holds and hands to the face don’t get called as often as on the outside because it is harder to see in the middle, which leads to some serious shots being taken by the big fellas on the inside. As such, it takes a special kind of mentality to be able to play in there and deal with all of that.
We got a peek into how different those guys are on Sunday when Buccaneers star nose tackle Vita Vea had his helmet dislodged, exposing his mouth, which then got popped by a Colts lineman’s helmet causing him to lose a tooth — which you can see fly out in the below video.
Vita Vea just lost a tooth and is laughing it off pic.twitter.com/ajSSiPHICS
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 28, 2021
Naturally, Vea jogs off the field smiling and pointing to his missing tooth that is bleeding, because that’s a totally normal reaction to having your tooth knocked out. Most people would be a bit more distraught, but the NFL does provide a good dental plan and Vea’s pain tolerance is, well, a bit higher than the average human.