NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Sam Darnold, Saints


Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians says he will implement his own COVID protocols for the team on road trips.

“There’s league rules and then there are my rules,” Arians said, via “They aren’t going anywhere. We’re doing the same as last year. I don’t give a crap if they’re vaccinated or not. They’re not going anywhere.” 

  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman thinks that as long as Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard is healthy coming back from his torn Achilles last year, he will have a legit role even on a crowded offense. 


Panthers OC Joe Brady said QB Sam Darnold is doing well with his decision-making and appears “comfortable” in their system. 

I think what he’s doing a great job at right now is he’s making great decisions,” said Brady, via Anthony Rizutti of the PanthersWire. “He’s comfortable in the system, he’s playing within the system, he’s taking what the defense is giving us. That’s what excites me.”

Brady added that he has confidence in Darnold and reiterated he has a “great grasp” of their system. 

“I have something with him. I’m confident in Sam. I feel like he has a great grasp of the offense right now,” Brady said.

Although Darnold isn’t getting a lot of preseason reps, Brady points out that he’s played extensively in their joint practices with the Colts and Ravens. 

“It’s one of those things, you see that he might not’ve had a lot of preseason game reps right now. But the amount of reps that you would normally get in a preseason game, a four-game season, he’s getting. We had two joint practices. So where he might be getting 40, 50 total reps in a preseason, he’s already gotten 60, 70 going against the Colts and the Ravens and their 1’s.”


  • Amie Just reports Saints DE Malcolm Roach sustained a hip flexor strain but it won’t keep him out for an extended period. 

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