NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • Buccaneers CB Richard Sherman could play Sunday if the team needs him, but he’d prefer a week of practice before playing. (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians mentioned for them to need Sherman on Sunday, multiple corners would need to be out for injury. He added CB Jamel Dean practiced Wednesday. (Jenna Laine)
  • Sherman’s contract includes $500,000 guaranteed. (Tom Pelissero)


It’s obvious that Falcons first-round TE Kyle Pitts is just a different kind of athlete from nearly everyone else he shares the football field with. While he hasn’t had a dominant start to his rookie season, Falcons QB Matt Ryan says he hasn’t seen opposing defenses pay that much attention to a rookie since Julio Jones

“He’s warranted respect on the other side of the ball from people,” Ryan said via Tori McElhaney of the team website. “That’s one thing that I have noticed early on in the first few weeks, is that there is a plan for him and where he’s at.”

Falcons HC Arthur Smith said it was just a “surface narrative” that they didn’t have enough plays schemed for Pitts in the early goings of Week 3’s win against the Giants. Pitts finished with just three targets and two catches, but they were pivotal plays to seal the win. 

“Yeah, we want to get Kyle the ball, but you’ve got to give [DC] Patrick Graham and the Giants defense credit,” Smith said. “We chipped away and chipped away, and (Pitts) comes through at the end. Can I call him a slide or a screen to force it to him? Yeah, maybe, but the way we were playing the game, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but they have a say. You could put it on me, but again it says more about his character. He kept chipping away and made a critical third down and a big catch in the last drive to set us up. Again, I call those surface narratives and I think it’s disrespectful to the Giants and their defense and their defensive staff.”

  • The Falcons fired Midwest scout Rodrik David due to his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Jordan Schultz)
  • Schultz mentions that all of Atlanta’s staff received the vaccine other than David. 


Panthers HC Matt Rhule said he’s unsure if recently acquired CB C.J. Henderson will appear in Week 4 and added that the cornerback will play “whenever he’s read to help us.” 

“And I’m not sure if that’s this week or not, to be honest with you,” Rhule said, via Darin Gannt of the team’s official site. “We’ll watch the tape and see what he’s ready for. The guys that have been practicing and preparing with us for a while, those are the guys we trust to go win the game. And we’ll bring C.J. along, and whenever he’s ready to help us, he’ll help us.”

Henderson called Carolina a “player-oriented” environment and feels it’s a fresh start for his career.  

“I’ve been liking it,” Henderson said. “My experience so far has been good. It’s player-oriented here, and liking it so far. For me I feel like it’s a fresh new start for me. Just to start over and get things back on track. Just to get things rolling again.”

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