NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

  • Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin was a full participant in the team’s walkthrough but HC Bruce Arians said his status is still undetermined: “We won’t know until Friday if he can catch a ball.”
  • New Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown says he’s put a lot of energy into improving himself with his time off: “I’ve been spending a lot of time, working on myself, being resilient. Even when times got hard, staying in shape, not listening to the naysayers, good people around me to stay encouraged. I tried to check every box to make sure I was ready to go.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • Brown is hoping to prove he’s worthy of this opportunity: “Hopefully, I can change their perspective and win them over with how I move forward and handle my business.” (Wilson)
  • While Arians notably shot down any idea of signing Brown this offseason, the veteran receiver says things are good between the two: “We have a great relationship. As a kid, coming to Pittsburgh 10 years ago … Bruce Arians was always an asset in my corner.” (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers G Ali Marpet is in the concussion protocol. (Rick Stroud)

Falcons

  • Per NFL Media’s Michael Giardi, Falcons interim HC Raheem Morris says DE Takk McKinley “will be held accountable…gotta deal with that as an organization and gotta hit it in the face.”
  • McKinley openly criticized the team’s decision not to trade him the past few seasons on Twitter, which Morris called immature: “The wrong way to go about it how Takk is, to pout.”
  • Morris told reporters McKinley would not play this week against the Broncos as a part of his discipline: “There’s an option to suspend and there’s an option not to play. … We’ll talk to Takk and get that thing done.” (Jason Butt)
  • Multiple sources disputed McKinley’s assertion that a second-round pick was on the table for him in trade talks last year. (Butt)
  • While Falcons WR Calvin Ridley didn’t practice Wednesday, Morris said they got “good news” about his midfoot sprain and Ridley is day-to-day. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)

Panthers

  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline notes Panthers OC Joe Brady will get head-coaching interviews this offseason but he puts the chances under 50 percent that he lands a gig. 
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said RB Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Wednesday and looked good: “He looked like Christian. He looked good, sharp. We’ll see how his body responds. … This is his first padded day, we’ll see how it responds to the duress.” (Joe Person)
  • Rhule noted Panthers second-round S Jeremy Chinn appears to have reaggravated a knee injury from college and missed practice Wednesday. (Person)
  • Panthers DE Brian Burns says he’s urged Chinn to take it easy: “I told him to rest up. No need to rush anything. It’s probably more serious than what he thinks.” (Person)
  • Panthers CB Donte Jackson said he used the mini-bye to see multiple specialists about his toe: “It’s feeling better, just try not to aggravate it, man.” (Person)
  • The Panthers are hosting K Taylor Bertolet for a workout this week. (Aaron Wilson)

Saints

  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell expects new LB Kwon Alexander to take over as the starter on the weak side sooner rather than later. 
  • She notes Alexander is pretty affordable for 2020, and while his cap hit balloons to $13.4 million in 2021 it’s clear the Saints are just focused on this year. 
  • Terrell writes Saints DT Sheldon Rankins is expected to miss three games with an MCL injury suffered against the Bears this past week. 
  • Saints RB Alvin Kamara missed practice Wednesday with a bone bruise in his foot but the team doesn’t see it as a serious issue. Kamara is staying off it and resting and looks to be on track for Week 9. (Nick Underhill)
  • Kamara said he plans to play through the injury, which he compared to stubbing your toe on the bed. (Underhill
  • Saints QB Drew Brees was listed as limited and also had to have his shoulder taped this past Sunday, though he obviously downplayed any injury. (Terrell)
  • Saints WRs Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Marquez Callaway also returned to practice. (Terrell)
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