NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


The Buccaneers issued the following statement regarding the report that WR Antonio Brown was involved in an incident in which he allegedly wreaked a surveillance camera and threw a bike at a security guard last month. 

“We are aware of the reported incident involving Antonio Brown prior to his signing. When Antonio joined us, we were clear about what we expected and required of him. Thus far, he has met all the expectations we have in place.”

  • Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said G Ali Marpet is still in the concussion protocol but the team isn’t hurrying him back. 
  • The move to shift Ryan Jensen to guard and start A.Q. Shipley at center paid off big against the Panthers and Arians is comfortable doing that as long as it takes for Marpet to get healthy. 


  • Dr. David Chao notes Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater could miss time with his sprained MCL despite avoiding a more serious injury. 
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said he’s hopeful Bridgewater will be able to practice on Wednesday. (Joe Person)
  • In regards to RB Christian McCaffrey, Rhule noted there’s “nothing different” on his end about him being hopeful he can play this week. (Person)
  • Panthers signed QB Tommy Stevens to their practice squad. (NFLTR)
  • Panthers released K Taylor Bertolet from their practice squad.


  • Per the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, Saints QB Drew Brees was vague on what exactly his injury issues were other than it’s not just one thing and he needs some time to recover: “Well, nothing is a long-term thing. It’s just a matter of how long it’s going to be. And, honestly, I really don’t know. It’s not something quite to this extent that I’ve experienced.”
  • It was later reported Brees is dealing with multiple rib fractures and a partially punctured lung. ESPN’s Dan Graziano says an optimistic timeline is two or three weeks and the chief goal is having Brees back for the playoffs. 
  • Brees said about halfway through the second quarter he could tell something wasn’t right. He gutted out a two-minute drive for a touchdown but stiffened up at halftime: “You always worry about halftime because you sit for long. When I came out in the second half and started throwing the ball, it became really apparent I wasn’t going to be effective.”
  • While Brees thought it was something with his back that was tightening up after halftime, it turned out to be his lung. (Nick Underhill)
  • Brees will likely be replaced by QB Jameis Winston for as long as he’s out, who Saints HC Sean Payton said did a good job stepping in at the half Sunday: “I am proud of him. He led us to an important scoring drive. He led us to another field goal drive. The one thing that I would say with Jameis, too, is that he is extremely bright. Functioning and understanding what we are doing, he is someone that picks it up quickly.”
  • Payton declined to name a starter officially between Winston and QB Taysom Hill. (Amie Just)

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