NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports Buccaneers LB Jason Pierre-Paul had a second opinion on his shoulder and it was recommended that he rests as opposed to surgery. 
  • Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown tested positive for COVID-19, meaning he has to have two negative tests in a 24-hour span to return. (Adam Schefter)


So far through two games, tight end has been more of a suggestion than an accurate description for first-round Falcons rookie Kyle Pitts‘ position. Pitts has lined up all over the formation, running routes almost equally from the slot, wide receiver and inline tight end. It’s a significant mental load for a rookie but it also helps the Falcons do what they want to do on offense. 

“Learning multiple positions, he works at it,” Falcons TE coach Justin Peelle said via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “And it does, it helps out our offense to be multiple, because that’s what we want to do. That’s what Coach Smith’s past is. He gives us that flexibility, him and Hayden [Hurst], to move those guys around.”

  • Falcons DC Dean Pees said CB T.J. Green has earned a role in Week 3’s game against the Giants. (Tori McElheney)
  • Pees said second-round DB Richie Grant must fully learn their defense before earning more playing time: “Just learn the defense better. He’s a rookie. It’s a lot of defense. It’s a lot of stuff. He just has to get to that point where he knows it and we know he knows it.” (Michael Rothstein)


Panthers QB Sam Darnold said he was happy with the offense’s ability to stay on the field the first two weeks of the season.

“It’s great, it’s complementary football, we talk about it all of the time,” Darnold said, via “But us having the ball and sustaining drives, obviously we want to do more in the red zone, we want to score more points. But to be able to stay on the field as an offense and then our defense going out and creating three and outs and stopping them, it’s really good football.”

Panthers TE Dan Arnold added he thinks Darnold and OC Joe Brady are working well together.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting to see his trend over the season,” Arnold said. “I think this is kind of just the beginning of what he’s capable of doing. He’s definitely gotten way more comfortable. Him and coach [Joe] Brady are getting on the same page. They’re really talking together and ironing out details in the practice week that need to be ironed out. Then we’ve been executing on Sunday.

“He’s just more relaxed. That freak play where he was trying to get rid of the ball. I didn’t really see exactly what happened. He comes back to the sideline, and he’s just onto the next play. Coach Rhule talks about ‘What’s next?’ (Darnold’s) about that. He knows that he can trust guys and that we can trust the defense to make a stop. Everybody’s got each other’s back, and he knows that. It’s really fun to play football when you know that.”


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