NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said of WR Chris Godwin‘s progress: “We know what he brings. We’ll see how sore it is tomorrow. He caught the ball fine. … I would anticipate him probably playing.” (Greg Auman)
  • Arians mentioned that Joe Haeg can start for Ali Marpet at left guard if Marpet isn’t cleared from concussion protocol: “Yeah, we’ve got a number of options. Joe Haeg has played a bunch of football and Joe will start in Ali’s spot. Ryan Jensen could move to guard and A.Q. Shipley can play center…we’re pretty solid in there with some veteran guys.” (Rick Stroud)
  • According to Rick Stroud, Buccaneers DL William Gholston continues to test negative for COVID-19 and has been participating in defensive meetings virtually.
  • If Gholston continues to produce negative tests, Stroud says he could be activated from the COVID-19 list for Sunday’s game against the Saints.
  • OUT for Week 9: G Ali Marpet (concussion)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 9: WR Chris Godwin (finger)


Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Falcons fined DE Takkarist McKinley an undisclosed amount of money for making comments about his trade situation on social media.

McKinley claimed the Falcons declined two deals, including one that would have returned a second-round pick. Multiple sources tell Butt that no such deals were turned down.

The Falcons did speak with teams about McKinley before Tuesday’s deadline, however, the compensation that was being offered was unacceptable and Atlanta decided to move forward with him on their roster.

“The wrong way to go about is definitely the way Takk is handling it now with a pout,” Interim HC Raheem Morris said of McKinkey. “So, as soon as we get an opportunity to talk to him about those things, and how he’s handling that situation, that will be the first and foremost thing you handle first. Then you figure out getting him healthy as far as his groin and then you figure out if he’s even going to be on the team if that’s even possible at this point. We’ll move forward and we’ll move forward swiftly and we’ll move on accordingly, but right now, the one thing I do know is he won’t be able to help us for the Denver Broncos (on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium). There’s always an option to suspend and there’s always an option just not to play. There’s always an option for us to do everything we do. I know a lot of his money is guaranteed, but we’ll obviously talk to (team president) Rich (McKay) about that and go through that whole process. Obviously, we’ll talk to Takk and get that thing done because we’re not going to sit here and talk about that through the papers or through media or however you want to do it. That’s a grown-man conversation with another grown man.”

  • Falcons interim HC Raheem Morris said WR Calvin Ridley is in “a great spot” but that he thought he needed one more day of evaluation at practice today to really get a better feel for where he is regarding his Week 9 status. (Tori McElhaney)
  • Albert Breer of SI believes that the Falcons would draft QB Trevor Lawrence and either attempt to keep QB Matt Ryan as his mentor or trade him to another organization at some point.
  • OUT for Week 9: DE Dante Fowler (hamstring), DE Takkarist McKinley (groin, illness), CB Jordan Miller (oblique)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 9: WR Calvin Ridley (foot)



  • Per ESPN’s Mike Triplett, Saints HC Sean Payton said getting back veteran receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for the second half of the season will be big: “I’m excited these guys are back, and certainly there’s additional targets. Now it’s up to us to be more consistent and take advantage of it.”
  • Payton was asked about QB Drew Brees and WR Mike Thomas‘ status and said they’ll wait until gameday to make a decision: “We’ll see. I thought we had a good week of preparation. And we’ll wait ’til gameday.” (Luke Johnson)
  • However, Dianna Russini reports that both Brees and Thomas are both expected to be active on Sunday night against the Bucs.
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 9: WR Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring)

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