Calijah Kancey And His Calf

October 3rd, 2023


Joe has noticed in the comments on this here website a growing frustration over the absence of first-round pick, defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

That frustration could last a while longer.

Yesterday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles was asked when Kancey may return from his calf injury. It seems Bowles would rather play the better-safe-than-sorry option.

Kancey suffered a non-contact calf injury early in training camp. He returned to practice just before opening day and lasted 11 snaps before his injured calf began barking in Minnesota.

It was a setback.

Bowles explained he wants to avoid another setback and will wait for Kancey to better heal, however long that may take.

“It’s kind of pain-as-tolerated type of deal,” Bowles said. “You want him one hundred percent. He came back last time, he felt it a little bit. So you want to be a little more cautious this time.”

Joe read that Kancey’s injury was similar to Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow’s calf injury, which Burrow also suffered very early in camp. Obviously, a defensive tackle needs his calf more than a pocket passer.

Burrow has yet to fully recover — some say he came back too soon — and he’s still hobbled.

In the very short time Kancey was on the field he was a force and a blur. Joe was taken aback by how quick Kancey is (watching tape is one thing; seeing a guy live is a different animal). Kancey had one quarterback pressure and one quarterback hit/knockdown.

Joe spoke off the record with Kancey last week. Joe believes it is OK to share that Kancey is beyond frustrated he’s not on the field.

With rookie edge rusher YaYa Diaby earning more playing time, when Kancey returns, that kind of talented depth should really boost the Bucs’ pass rush.

61 Responses to “Calijah Kancey And His Calf”

  1. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    He felt a little bit.

    Sounds like a warrior.

    Hey Eric the Red, turn this boat around, I feel a little tug in my arms.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s possible there was coaching malpractice to play Kancey in game one…..I realize this is hindsight…..It also could be Kancey’s fault…wanting to play so badly he overlooked his injury.
    I’m frustrated but am OK letting him heal.

  3. Hodad Says:

    What’s frustrating about his injury is that recovering from a surgury only takes 12 weeks. Kancey has missed about 8? Sounds like his strain is more like a tear.

  4. Teflon Don Says:

    Would rather him sit out until he is 100%. A strain is a slight tear so would rather him get fully healthy than rush back too soon and really tear the calf(speaking from experience) luckily we haven’t needed him so the Bucs fan crying about him being out are just spoiled

  5. DBS Says:

    Let it heal all the way. Rushing it will be another mistake we don’t need. And YaYa should be the starter. JTS experiment should be over.

  6. go dawgs Says:

    ouch my kitty cat hurts….

  7. gp Says:

    Keyboard warriors

  8. DS Says:

    Rest up rook

  9. Baker Costanza Says:

    That’s a great name for a children’s book.

  10. JimBobBuc Says:

    Joe can ask Vita Vea about his calf injury and how long it took to get healthy. I bet Vita and Kancey have talked about it.

    How about the other Pitt player, Dennis?

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    I don’t think we are getting the full story. Sounds like more than a simple strain….

  12. SB~LV Says:

    Dr Google
    Grade I calf strains may heal within about eight days but have been reported to take an average of 16 weeks to return to the preinjury level of performance in elite athletes.8
    Grade II calf strains take about four to six weeks to heal but one study found it took up to 50 weeks on average to return to the prior level of competition for dancers.8
    Grade III calf strains usually take two to three months to heal, but can take up to six months to recover if surgery is needed due to extensive injury.

  13. NJbucs23 Says:


    The kid is gonna be special. Soft tissue injuries are a pain and take time to heal. Heal up and come back 100%

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    My frustration was NOT directed at Kancey. I am more frustrated with the trainers/doctors/coaches that forced Kancey back too soon against the Vikings so he could play 10 plays and re-injure the calf.

    He should have been put on IR from the very beginning of the season and he would probably be back and full go by now.

    Rushing Kancey back was idiotic and it backfired big time.

  15. pewter941 Says:

    So hes either in alot of pain, or cant tolerate much pain.

  16. Boss Says:

    give him an aleve and send it!

  17. Pewter Power Says:

    I agree with letting him sit until 100%. That’s easier when you’re winning games.

    JTS already losing snaps to yaya is not good for his career. Might as well trade him and give these other guys looks since he’s just a guy out there and probably not getting resigned

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    I’m going to adopt a common HC coach rule. I don’t talk about players that don’t play.

  19. JD Still Says:

    We don’t need him right now, let him heal , we’ll need him later as other guy’s need a break or get injured, fresh bodies later in the season are a real blessing.

  20. David G Says:

    In the little bit he played he was a badass and you noticed him right away unlike some other players on this team(JTS).We are three and one without him and are one loss was against what is probably the best football team in the NFL( Even though the Eagles disgust me).Let him heal throught the bye and when he returns he will be a dominae force in our up and coming Defense.GO BUCS!!!!!

  21. BillyBucco Says:

    It’s impossible to say that the coaches/staff/trainers FORCED him back before je was ready or that ANY type of malpractice occurred. We have no idea what happened with the back and forth conversations with Kancey. It is quite possible he rushed himself back. The player has to communicate what he is feeling and TELLING the staff it feels fine when it doesn’t, could easily be on Kancey. IF, that happened you have a guy who REALLY wants to play and a future DAWG next to Vea. I’m sure he was excited, and as Joe reported FRUSTRATED he isn’t playing. At least they are winning without him. It sounded to me like Bowles was saying he felt pretty confident that resting him THROUGH, the bye week occurred after he tweaked it again and this time they wanted to make sure. Even if he doesn’t make it back until SF, I’m ok with it. Detroit lost to Seattle, who isnt exactly GREAT, so they are beatable. Atlanta, meh!!!!

  22. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    You could just tell by coach Bowles’s smile when asked if vita will see less double teams when kancey comes back that this defense isn’t even close to playing at peak levels

  23. Fred McNeil Says:

    Why not just put him on IR and get a football player to take his place till he feels like playing.

  24. Fred McNeil Says:

    We obviously don’t need him right now.

  25. George R Says:

    You would think he is close or he would been put on IR

  26. BucU Says:

    My favorite person to talk about. I’ve been the loudest Kancey basher on here but for a change I’m gonna just say I’ll look forward to seeing Kancey on the field against Detroit.

  27. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Calf srains take a while. Vita Vea had one his rookie season and was out from July 29th until September 30th. Even missed the first three games of the season that year.

    The reality is Kancey pushed to come back too soon week one. He needs to rest it. Again even if he’s only healthy for the last half of the season he will make a huge difference.

  28. BillyBucco Says:

    At least we aren’t Seattle who had to wait 13 months to get Jamal Adams back from injury and on the 9th play of the game he gets a concussion.

  29. dls5492 Says:

    NJbucs23 is correct. Look at the Bengals and Joe Burrow. I bet the Bengals wished they sat him.

  30. orlbucfan Says:

    What’s the point of signing this young man as a #1 if, as a few yahoos on here prove, he’s playing injured? Get real, nitwits. Let him heal. Now, I still haven’t given up on JTS, and there’s a lot of howling about this Yaya dude. I still want to see some tandem plays with VV and JTS, but I’m no Todd Bowles. He and the team medicos know the skinny on Kancey. I think I trust their expert opinions. Yeay for the Bye Week!

  31. Eckwood Says:

    Def don’t think the Coaches forced him to play but perhaps they didn’t drill down and get the 100 % accurate feedback and make the incorrect decision.

  32. TonySoprano Says:

    I’d go so far as to sit JTS for a game and activate Watts. See what this whole platoon of young OLBs can do together.

  33. firethecannons Says:

    Yeah–the defense is playing well, bet they can woop up on the Lions, it is good for YaYa to get snaps–damn he is a big sob in a good way. Really long arms and really tall and solid. Joe now can you do a story on Sir Vocea Denis what happened to him?

  34. Toad Bowels Says:

    Owning a calf is a lot of trouble. Why does he own a calf? Is he a USF Bulls fan? Texas Longhorns? Why can’t he in just get a horse like Devin White?

    Rookie got to be different.

    Now Luke Goedecke is the Beastmaster! He could wrestle a huge bull to the ground.

  35. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Don’t rush him back let that calf fully heal. Look how bad burrow is doing. I would even say he’s hurting his team more by playing them not. I’m frustrated he’s not out there too but much rather him get healthy. You only get 1 body. Take care of it kancey get well soon bro and come back with a vengeance and ray lineman and QBs. If he comes back 2nd half of season and blows up it will be better for us then him coming back and losing him for the rest of the year. ALSO WE ALL SHOULD TEMPER EXPECTATIONS FOR ANY ROOKIE DLINEMAN THEY USUALLY DONT MAKE A HUGE IMPACT 1st YEAR.

  36. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    First comment said it. I know the athletes have gotten bigger and faster, but Kalijah would be laughed out of the NFL in 1960 (or 70 or 80 or 90).

  37. stpetebucfan Says:

    AGAIN for perspective. Vea played just 13 games his rookie year and FIVE his 3rd year. GMAC missed his share of games with injuries. Do we think either of these guys were a wasted first round pick?

    And yes it is hindsight to whine about the magic eleven plays we got to see Calijah. He was a blur and if he heals he will be a real force. Trainers do not have magic tools to determine the severity of a muscle strain. They have to react largely based on what the athlete tells them. I cut off my morning swim today because my left delt started to feel sore. It’s hard to know when to play through or swim through an injury.

    I totally agree it’s VERY disappointing especially after being teased by those 11 plays. Is this the FIRST time guys here have been disappointed?

    I’ll tell you what’s disappointing is when the straw that stirs the drink fiddles around with his marriage and waits until just prior to the start of the season to MISS several weeks prep and bring all that distraction to camp. THAT was preventable. Injuries are largely bad luck unless someone has info that Kancey dogged in off season training. Absent that it’s time we all STFU about Kancey’s character or manhood.

  38. LongSeason Says:

    Anyone here remember a certain 1st overall pick for Bucs that played in just 8 games with 6 starts as a rookie?
    I’m sure there are some fans that go back that far. This player did have 5 sacks in limited playing time and went on to be a HoF player.
    Joes, I believe you when you say Kancey is wanting to get on the field. As long as the current d-line is playing as well as it is, let Kancey properly heal. He will be good for it.

  39. Lokog Says:

    As long as he doesn’t turn into another gerald mccoy

  40. Eddie Says:

    Go BUCS! Injurys happen thats why its important to have depth(which we do) and youth (to avoid aged bones) which we also have! SUPERBOOOOOOWWWWLLLLL!

  41. infomeplease Says:

    There’s still 13 more games to play plus post season! The Bucs can use everyone available asap. It is encouraging that the Bucs have proven they have decent depth pieces they can plug in when needed on the defense at all levels! On the offense side, besides receivers, there are some question marks still. So far so good!!!

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Lokog Says:
    October 3rd, 2023 at 3:27 pm
    As long as he doesn’t turn into another gerald mccoy


    A 6x pro-bowler… yeah, wouldn’t want that.


  43. Citrus County Says:

    go dawgs ; ouch my kitty cat hurts….Come on dawgs, you can do better than that. Veterans should be better than that.

  44. stpetebucfan Says:


    We actually agree. Those same folks who didn’t like GMAC were ready to toss Vita after his 5 game season 3.

  45. SlyPirate Says:

    July 30 – October 15

    You’re telling me a staff of medical professionals with specific expertise on professional athlete conditioning and rehab, can’t get a strained calf feeling good enough to play 15-30 min of football (Def TOP) in 2.5 months?


  46. Crunchbuc 76 Says:

    Boy soft. Hang the sign around his neck. BUST. He can borrow the one JTS is currently using.

  47. unbelievable Says:

    He look frickin electric in those 11 snaps!

    I honestly couldn’t believe how much he was jumping off the screen. It has me salivating for when he does return. And here I agree with Bowles – better to give him an extra week or 2 to heal fully, versus rushing back and facing another setback.

    All the Chicken Littles need to calm down.

  48. Aaron Says:

    here is a list of our last 3 first picks – we may need to invest into a draft consulting service to help us draft D-line, or Bowles needs help getting them ready to play.

    2021 = 32nd Pick = Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
    2022 = 33rd Pick = Logan Hall
    2023 = 19th Pick = Calijah Kancey

    Go Bucs! (everyone get healthy for the Lions)

  49. Voice of Truth Says:

    Let the kid heal, you know he was dying to play and pushed himself too soon.

    Just think, if we can get another couple wins without him, wouldn’t adding his explosion and fresh legs about time for the Buffalo/SanFran games be a welcome boost?

    JTS has got to be sat for YaYa, it’s not even close – Nelson is way better than him too – dude just isn’t getting it

    Hall on the other hand has a non stop motor and needs another year on the weights, he will be good – it took WillG 3 years to find his place

    This FO struggles the most with drafting RB’s IMO

  50. #99 the big fella Says:

    Amazing how these guys never get hurt in college, but as soon as they hit a nfl field they get injured immediately.

  51. stpetebucfan Says:


    That’s not what we’re saying at all. Don’t take this personal because I would direct this at most people here although I don’t know everyone, somebody here might have actually served as a real PROFESSIONAL trainer.

    What we’re saying is that we trust the PROFESSIONALS more than we trust your opinion. Nothing personal. If you think it through you’ll realize it’s just logical.

  52. kyle Says:

    citrus county^^ haha, good one

  53. matthew a veal Says:

    joe somewhat prefers history to analytics, still, over a season, 2/3 of the team will miss a game (other than the discussion of tight ends in another article today) due to injury.

    I read, among other stats, the average NFL player has about a 4.1% chance each game of suffering an injury that will prevent them from playing in the following game.

    im sure some players, doctors and coaches are better than others with injuries, but we as fans have to stop expecting miracles. i, too, am guilty of this.

    My guess is that the bucs are as good or better than most teams in this area, I dont want to criticize them due to lack of knowledge

  54. Rod Munch Says:

    stpetebucfan Says:
    October 3rd, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    We actually agree. Those same folks who didn’t like GMAC were ready to toss Vita after his 5 game season 3.


    Also, who are the people bashing Kancey? I see like 2 people doing it, and they’re probably the same person. Who is mad at a guy who is hurt, yet has no injury history and isn’t a high risk pick?

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    matthew a veal – 2/3rds of a team will miss a game? Not just be injured and miss time in a game?

    That sounds like a bogus stat, what’s the source on that, I’d like to take a look at the info.

  56. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Okay guys, let’s put it this way, Achilles injuries are on a rise. Don’t know why,but they are. Joe Burrow is looking like he’ll tear his, any second. Rodgers just did. White from Buffalo did. Von and Shaq did Last year. I’d rather have the rook sit, get healthy and NOT tear the Achilles, than have him go out limited and then rip it off. Just me.

  57. orlbucfan Says:

    Bunch of da##ed yo-yos on here. Lay off the GMC insults, and to an earlier question: is the answer Steve Young? Yes, he did play for the Bucs.

  58. jarrett Says:

    he’ll be fresh for the playoffs after the bucs win the nfc south

    its a bucs life

  59. Lokog Says:

    Rodmunch hang your hat on mclowns 6x probowls cuz it means nothing dipstick

  60. garro Says:

    Not at all frustrated with Kancey!
    I’m frustrated with the lack of forthcoming info on any Bucs injury.
    Bowles treats this stuff like it is a National security threat if he says anything more than he got a boo boo!

    I want all of the folks here who’s biggest injury has been from tripping over their cat while going to the fridge for a beer. They have obviously never played any organized sport! Remember your asinine comments when Kancey comes back and shows goes off! Soft? Hows that boo boo on your pinky toe doing?

    Go Bucs!

  61. itzok Says:

    We’ve been waiting 3 years for 1st rd pick JTS to show up, we can surely wait 6 games for Kancey