NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians is hopeful that CB Jamel Dean (knee) will return for Week 5 and is confident that CB Mike Edwards can fill in for Antoine Winfield (concussion) if needed. (Greg Auman)
  • Arians said CBs Carlton Davis (quad) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow) are not expected back soon: “I don’t see either one of them coming back anytime soon.”  (Jenna Laine)
  • When asked in the Buccaneers’ potential interest in Stephon Gilmore before being traded to the Panthers, Arians said they would “kick the tires” on any available player: “We’ll kick the tires on everybody that’s available, so we’ll see. If it’s a fit, it’s a fit. If it’s not, it’s not.” (Laine)


Falcons QB Matt Ryan responded that reports of him wanting out of Atlanta are “not true.” 

“False. I think it’s ridiculous,” Ryan said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “I don’t know where it would have come from. … I’m giving you a credible source right here, that’s just not true.”

Ryan reiterated that he wants to stay in Atlanta and any reports otherwise are “completely false.” 

“I feel fortunate to have been here for 14 years. I really love it here, love the organization, like the new coaching staff, like what they’re about, feel like we have a good nucleus of players and we can win now, and I’m excited about that,” Ryan said. “I don’t know where that report came from. It’s completely false.”

Ryan adds that he fits “really well” into HC Arthur Smith‘s system. 

“I think I fit really well,” Ryan said. “I know Art is a believer in running the football and all the good things that does for your team, wearing out a defensive line, imposing your will and off of that comes a lot of play-action pass and getting the ball out of your hands and trying to fire a lot of that intermediate play-action pass game and pushing the ball down the field at times, too. I really feel like my skill set fits well within what he’s trying to do.”


  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero notes the Panthers inherit the $6 million remaining on CB Stephon Gilmore‘s deal for the rest of 2021 and the veteran will be eligible to return from the Physically Unable to Perform list in Week 7. 
  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers LB Shaq Thompson suffered a strained plantar fascia in his foot.
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule says Thompson will likely miss two weeks with his injury. (Person)
  • Rhule said it’s possible for RT Taylor Moton to move to left tackle but added that there are “more likely options” available.  (Person)
  • Panthers GM Scott Fitterer says he’s explored the trade market for offensive linemen as well but teams are holding tightly to even their backups. (Person
  • As for Panthers CB Donte Jackson being in the final year of his contract, Rhule said their acquisition of Gilmore has no impact on Jackson’s future.  (David Newton)
  • Rhule added that Jackson is “still very much a priority” for the Panthers. (Person)
  • Rhule said RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) could be a game-time decision: “Christian looked real good. I don’t know what that means in terms of Sunday.” (Newton)
  • Panthers DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle) returned to practice on Wednesday. (Person)


  •’s Jeff Duncan says the Saints “expressed interest” in acquiring Stephon Gilmore but felt content going forward with Bradley Roby, Desmond Trufant and third-round rookie Paulson Adebo.
  • ESPN’s Mike Triplett reports that Saints K Wil Lutz (core) is expected to miss just a couple more weeks with his recovery but will benefit from New Orleans’ Week 6 bye. 

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