NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said this weekend that coming out of the bye one of their points of emphasis is to get RB Ronald Jones the ball more. Jones has come a long way since having the yips his rookie year and Arians trusts him enough now to handle 20 carries a game in an ideal world. 

“It definitely means a lot,” Jones said via Pro Football Talk. “Again, as a player, all you can do is ask for the opportunity. They’ve given it to me and I’ve just got to make the most of it. Take it and run with it — literally — so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

  • Buccaneers CB Jamel Dean has cleared the concussion protocol but was held out of practice Wednesday with a groin injury. (Rick Stroud)

Falcons

  • According to Jason Butt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons S Ricardo Allen is in the concussion protocol, while RB Ito Smith has been cleared to practice. 

Panthers

  • Per the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey was limited Wednesday with a thigh injury, which popped up last week and tightened up this week. 
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said Joey Slye “is our kicker” despite the practice squad addition of Lirim Hajrullahu that Carolina made. (Person)
  • Panthers RT Taylor Moton said he’s not worried about a new contract right now and he’ll turn his focus that way after the season. Carolina has not opened extension talks with him yet. (David Newton)
  • NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said the Panthers’ COVID-19 outbreak was traced to a gathering some players had outside the team facility during the bye week. (Person)

Saints

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the more realistic target for Saints QB Drew Brees‘ return remains Week 15 against the Chiefs. Brees could start to ramp up in practice on Thursday. 
  • Saints HC Sean Payton said that he feels the successor to Brees is already on the team in regards to Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston: “We feel like Drew’s replacement is in the building.” (Katherine Terrell)
  • Payton added that Hill is proving to be “starting material,” while Winston had a “fantastic training camp.” 
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