NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers



Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said he wants to have RB Ronald Jones get a “good bit of play time” in Week 17 after recently being activated from the COVID-19 list. 

“We do need to get him going…we need his explosiveness out there and hopefully we’ll get him a ton (of work Sunday,” Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. 

  • Arians praised Tom Brady‘s presence as a leader in the Buccaneers’ locker room and said the veteran has “definitely exceeded” his expectations this season given the lack of a full offseason program and preseason. (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles (COVID-19) has been cleared to resume his normal coaching duties and will be available for Week 17. (Scott Smith)
  • Tom Pelissero reports that Buccaneers LB Devin White tested positive for COVID-19 and DE Shaq Barrett was a close contact designation, which will cause them to miss Week 17.
  • However, Pelissero adds that Barrett could be on track to return for the Wild Card round of the playoffs if he continues to test negative. 
  • OUT for Week 17: DT Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf)
  • DOUBTFUL for Week 17: CB Carlton Davis (groin)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 17: DT Steve McLendon (not injury related)


  • OUT for Week 17: CB Darqueze Dennard (quadricep), WR Julio Jones (hamstring), WR Brandon Powell (foot)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 17: DE Charles Harris (not injury related)


The Panthers have had the opportunity to tie or take the lead to end the game eight times this year. But QB Teddy Bridgewater infamously has come up short every time. He’ll have possibly one last opportunity this week against the Saints, his former team. While the Panthers are shorthanded, the Saints still will be trying to secure a first-round bye and will be playing their starters. 

“To go down there and put together a game-winning drive, I think, for one we owe it to ourselves. We’ve worked extremely hard this year, and we want to show that we can execute in those situations,” Bridgewater said via Alaina Getzenberg of the Charlotte Observer. “I think it would be good just moving forward into the offseason, being able to just learn from the different experiences that we’ve had this year and what better way [than] to put one together this week.”

  • DOUBTFUL for Week 17: DE Brian Burns (shoulder), RB Mike Davis (ankle), RB Christian McCaffrey (thigh), T Russell Okung (calf), CB Troy Pride (hip)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 17: DE Yetur Gross-Matos (shoulder), DE Austin Larkin (shoulder), DE Efe Obada (shoulder, toe)
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