NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians and QB Tom Brady had scheduled a golf outing together over the bye week but the NFL canceled it because of the COVID-19 protocols forbidding gathering outside the building. 
  • For as much as the relationship between Arians and Brady has been questioned this year, the two apparently liked each other enough to schedule 54 holes together. 
  • Arians told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer that he’s worked this season at taking concepts from the Patriots and translating them into his system to help Brady: “I was in their system before. So I know that system. We make our system way simpler as far as formations. Now the plays, yeah. He’s got ideas, we’ve got ideas, we put them all together. Pick your favorites. And away we go.”
  • Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones may have fractured a pinky Sunday against the Vikings. While he came back in to play, the injury could impact him going forward. (Greg Auman)
  • Arians said having Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett as book-end pass rushers is a “luxury” for their defense: “And we don’t plan on Shaq getting going anywhere. I don’t think he wants to go anywhere.” (Rick Stroud)
  • Buccaneers RB LeSean McCoy was active over RB Leonard Fournette as Tampa Bay tweaked its third-down offense. McCoy impressed Arians with four carries for 32 yards and one catch for three yards: “I love Leonard. I think he’s a heck of a kid and a great player. We just wanted to get Shady back involved. He’s fresh and he showed it today. He made it all pay off for me. I took the risk and he made it pay off. He made the best of his opportunity, but it’s nothing against Leonard.”


  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz, Falcons QB Matt Ryan said he feels like he still has plenty left despite a poor stretch of play that includes eight interceptions the past six games: “I have plenty in the tank. I just have to play better.”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the NFL office has been a strong advocate for former Giants GM Jerry Reese to get another job and he’s a candidate worth monitoring for the Falcons given team president Rich McKay‘s strong ties to the league office.  
  • Falcons second-round DL Marlon Davidson left Sunday’s game with a knee injury but interim HC Raheem Morris says he’ll be fine going forward. (Jason Butt)


  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the hope is for Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey to practice Tuesday with the goal of playing this week. The Panthers also hope to get WR D.J. Moore back from the COVID-19 list. 
  • Per the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers HC Matt Rhule said OT Greg Little has been a healthy scratch the past two weeks because LT Russell Okung has been healthy and OL Trenton Scott has really impressed them. Okung (calf) still has a chance to play Saturday against the Packers. 
  • However, if Okung can’t play, Little will get the start at left tackle. (David Newton)


  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Duncan, Saints HC Sean Payton singled out G Andrus Peat from Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Eagles: “Peat’s got to play better.”

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