NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


  • Buccaneers’ first-round draft pick LB Joe Tryon has officially changed his jersey name to “Tryon-Shoyinka” to honor both sides of his family. (Jenna Laine)
  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said that veteran RB Giovani Bernard has been “more than pretty good” and will have a major part in the offense, according to


Panthers’ HC Matt Rhule will only play his starters for a couple of series during the upcoming preseason game after a tough week of practice.

“We’re leaning toward playing (Darnold),” Rhule said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “We’d like to play him, just making sure we have the full complement of guys around him that can help him. I think sometimes when you have camp legs, some of those balls — the guys that run 4.3 start to run 4.5. Sam’s throwing the ball where it should be and you see balls grazing off guys’ fingers down the field. Most NFL deep balls are guys running across the field and catching balls at 18 to 22 (yards).”

Rhule also touched on WR Keith Kirkwood, who is still recovering from a hit he received from S J.T. Ibe. Ibe was immediately cut following the incident and Kirkwood entered concussion protocol.

“You guys all saw that hit. He went into the concussion protocol. I don’t want to talk about the protocol, but also it was a pretty big hit,” Rhule said. “So I think he’s just working through some soreness. Whenever he’s cleared, we’ll get him back out here.”

Panthers’ GM Scott Fitterer notes that the team is comfortable with RT Taylor Moton remaining on the right side while keeping journeyman T Cam Erving on the left side.

“Actually, Cam’s done really well on that left side. I think the zone scheme really helps him out. He doesn’t have to move a lot of guys,” Fitterer said. “He’s got the length and the foot quickness. He’s gone against some really good guys against the Colts (and) Ravens. And he’s held his own, done a great job out there. (Moton) has done a nice job on the right side. If we have to put him on the left, he looks like he’s getting more comfortable with his footwork. So there are some options there.”

  • Undrafted free agent WR C.J. Saunders is in a close battle with WR Shi Smith for the last receiver spot.
  • Panthers’ LB Marquis Haynes had a massive preseason game but then showed up with a sling on his right arm, with Rhule saying he has a “unique” shoulder condition that will keep him out for just a week or two.
  • With LB Denzel Perryman still out, the team is planning for LB Jermaine Carter to start despite recently bringing in LB Josh Bynes and LB Jonathan Celestin.


Saints’ recently signed WR Kevin White said he’s grateful for the opportunity to sign with New Orleans after struggling with injuries throughout his career. 

“It means everything,” White said, via ProFootballTalk. “Going on Year 7 and not really getting an opportunity, now that I’m healthy, I know a lot about the game and I know how the business works, I feel good. It means a lot that someone else gave me a chance to live out my dream and kinda prove myself right and everybody else wrong.”

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