Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round rookie Calijah Kancey was carted off of the field during the club's fourth day of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles said after practice that Kancey is specifically dealing with a calf strain and that the defensive tackle is set to undergo an MRI to determine the severity.
According to those on the scene in Tampa, Kancey was turning a corner on a drill when he pulled up and started hobbling on that right leg. He then walked gingerly over to the cart and was taken away by the medical staff. Sports Illustrated's Dustin Lewis caught the exact moment Kancey suffered the injury on video.
Kancey was the No. 19 overall pick at the 2023 NFL Draft out of Pitt. Throughout the pre-draft process, the Miami native to Rams superstar Aaron Donald and even broke his 40-yard dash record for a defensive tackle at the NFL Scouting Combine back in March. During his final season at Pitt, Kancey tallied 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. When healthy, he's expected to join Pro Bowler Vita Vea along the interior of Tampa Bay's defensive line and was impressing the Bucs staff before going down on Sunday.
"The number of 'wow' plays that he had in shorts was more than I was even expecting," Bucs GM Jason Licht said of Kancey at the start of camp on Tuesday. "That doesn't necessarily always translate to making a bunch of plays in the NFL his rookie season – I'm not saying that he's going to for sure be an All-Pro his first year or anything like that. But seeing this defense kind of mold into what Todd [Bowles] really does like in that explosive, penetrating front that can get pressure up the middle, as well as off the edge, with all the tools that we have with Devin [White] and Lavonte [David], it's going to be exciting, that's for sure."
Kancey is anticipated to be a sizable piece within the Bucs defense in 2023, so the club will certainly be holding its breath until he gets word on the severity of his injury following the MRI.