NFC Notes: Bryce Young, Andy Dalton, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


It just so happens that Falcons CB Jeff Okudah‘s first game back could be against his former team in Detroit. Okudah acknowledged that hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

“I think as a competitor, you naturally have a game like this circled,” Okudah said via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “The environment is going to be a crazy environment. So, I mean, I can’t wait.”

Still, there’s a balance Okudah has to strike between being motivated and not letting the game get too big, as Falcons assistant HC Jerry Gray cautioned. 

“You have to fight that. You have to fight the ‘I want to get revenge,’ and stuff like that, because it doesn’t work,” Gray said. “If you get revenge and you lose, guess what? You hurt the team and you lose. So if he’s thinking about the other 10 guys that he’s out there playing with, it won’t be so much about him, it’ll be about the Atlanta Falcons and what we’re going to do on Sunday.”


The Panthers somewhat surprisingly had QB Andy Dalton rotating into Monday’s game, as he came in for two plays when a potential QB sneak was on the table. Panthers HC Frank Reich later explained they could stick with Dalton taking short-yardage reps ahead of first-round QB Bryce Young moving forward.

There’s a lot of different things we could do, but I just feel very comfortable in Andy,” Reich said on Tuesday, via “And some of those things you just want to limit the exposure of Bryce to — and Bryce can do any of it, but you’ve got an experienced veteran.

“There’s no golden rule that says he can’t come in and play a couple plays in the game. I mean, look at what the Saints do. I know Taysom Hill‘s a different story. But why not do that to a lesser extent if it can be utilized in a positive way?”


Saints S Marcus Maye was suspended three games by the NFL this week, but it’s not a development that caught the team off-guard. The suspension stems from an incident that happened back in 2021 and the team knew it could be coming down the pipe this year. The Saints made sure they had depth at safety to get by in Maye’s absence. 

“We’ve got a lot of good options there,” Saints HC Dennis Allen said via John DeShazier of the team website. “Obviously, missing a player of Marcus Maye’s stature is a blow to us, but yet, we feel good about the guy we have backing him up.

“We knew that this was certainly a possibility as we got into the season. This is something that has kind of been on the league’s radar for really a year-and-a-half or a couple of years now, so we know that this was potentially coming at some point in time.”

Allen listed J.T. Gray, Lonnie Johnson, Ugo Amadi and fifth-rounder Jordan Howden as options to replace Maye. 

“All throughout training camp, we felt like the secondary was a position of strength. We felt like we had several safeties that were NFL football players,” he said. 

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