NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said they will “wait and see” if RB Ronald Jones can play Sunday after having a pin inserted in his broken pinky. 
  • This was before Jones landed on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday. 


Falcons’ OC Dirk Koetter stuck up for his offensive players who have struggled to perform well as of late, including QB Matt Ryan and RB Todd Gurley.

“Matt has been really good with the ball this year and turnovers have not been an issue for us,” Koetter said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But they hurt us in the second half. That was uncharacteristic of this season. He’s been doing a really good job of taking care of the football. We’ll just get back to it. I know Matt will be all over his details as he always is. As far as the running back rotation, those numbers you put out, Todd is coming off injury. We are going to rotate those guys. We’ll discuss that, like most things, this time of year, a lot of it has to do with health at the position. That’s the same at almost every position. Todd’s history in the NFL speaks for itself. He’s been a phenomenal player in this league. His injuries, whatever his situation is there, there is nothing that I can do anything about that….That’s not like common knowledge. I don’t know exactly what his situation is. Todd has been a fantastic player in this league. He was brought in here to be our Number 1 runner. I know that Todd is a great teammate. He’s a great guy to coach. Todd gives good effort. He’s prepared. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Other than that, I know that Todd is giving us what he’s got.”

Falcons’ interim HC Raheem Morris spoke about how Atlanta coveted Buccaneers’ DE Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency before he re-signed in Tampa. He also noted that the team will be watching LB Shaquil Barrett as well in their upcoming game.

“They are a problem on defense there is no doubt about that,” Morris said. “(Jason Pierre-Paul) was a free agent last year and we had the chance to really evaluate him and go through the process to see if we could acquire him on our football team as well. Obviously, the Bucs re-signed him and got him back there. Shaq (Barrett) was tagged last year. He just jumped off the tape. We had some prior knowledge from a guy who had coached him out in Denver in Richard Smith, talking about him and having a lot of positives to say about Shaq Barrett. We know how they are going to play. They are a well-coached unit by Todd Bowles. They’ve got a lot of really good, talented players on that football team.”

  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says his sources tell him it’s extremely unlikely but not impossible that Morris is retained full-time by the Falcons. 



  • Per ESPN’s Mike Triplett, Saints HC Sean Payton didn’t offer any insight into how QB Drew Brees‘ return to practice went and what his status for Sunday against the Chiefs is: “We haven’t ruled anything just because we don’t have to. … He’s got a ways to go still and he’s someone we’re not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game.”
  • Payton added they would be cautious with Brees and not rush him back: “I think the significance of the injuries are such that you’ve gotta make sure he can function and feel confident.”

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