NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Rob Gronkowski, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Buccaneers’ TE Rob Gronkowski says the “arrow is pointing up” after missing five games with cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and back spasms. He practiced on Thursday and Friday and is hoping to play this Monday night.

It’s going well now out here. Just did two practices in a row. The arrow is pointing up to play this week, and hopefully, it’s a go,” Gronkowski said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. “The next day was the worst. I never got shot before, but that’s kind of what it felt like. I just want to get out there. I want to help out the guys. I want to get out there and make some plays like I was at the beginning of the year. Get some first downs, get some touchdowns, just help out the offense throughout the game — and that’s the goal.”

With an extensive injury history, Gronkowski said that he doesn’t worry about sustaining an injury that knocks him out of football permanently.

“No, I just add that to the resume,” Gronkowski said. “When I’m done one day, I can go through them all and tell my kids. You know how kids are. One day, you can have ’em, they can be crying about a bump, and I can be like, ‘I had this, that and the other, don’t worry about it.’ But definitely, I’ll sit there and I’ll ‘Cheers!’ to all of ’em … one day. But the resume of breaking things and all that is pretty far up there. I’ll definitely have to file this one, too, under workers’ comp. I think the NFL after I’m done is scared. Workers’ comp, I’m coming for you guys.”

  • Bucs’ HC Bruce Arians said that WR Antonio Brown is the only player ruled out for Monday night against the New York Giants. (Greg Auman)
  • Arians adds that CB Sean Murphy-Bunting showed he is ready to play after missing two months with an elbow injury. (Auman)


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe points out that while cutting or trading QB Matt Ryan would saddle the Falcons with a record $40 million dead cap hit, it would also free up $8 million in cap space. 
  • He adds he would expect the Falcons to draft a quarterback to start grooming behind Ryan or whoever in 2022. 
  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith had “no update” on WR Calvin Ridley (personal) and OT Matt Gono (undisclosed), while WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) is considered day-to-day.
  • Smith believes QB Matt Ryan‘s toe injury is not a major concern and they will evaluate him over the next week: “I think we’ll be all right, but we’ll have to see. See how the next four or five days progress.” (Michael Rothstein)


It’s taken some time, but Panthers G Michael Jordan has found himself back in the starting lineup. He lost his starting job with the Bengals and did not make the team coming out of the preseason. He was claimed by Carolina and even cut again by the Panthers after being inactive the first four games of the season. But Jordan entered the lineup in Week 6 and has managed to stay there thanks in large part to his physicality as a run blocker.  

“You can tell on film, he plays with a lot of physicality,” Panthers RT Taylor Moton said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “He’s a tempo-setter up front. We’re all fired up to have him out there and we’re all excited to be able to play with him, and do what we can to match his energy when it comes to a physicality standpoint.”


Saints QB Trevor Siemian said they must play better early on in games and avoid becoming “one-dimensional.” 

“Yeah, I think we always look at why aren’t you winning? And for me, it’s we’ve got to play better early,” Siemian said, via ProFootballTalk. “Yeah, I think it’s, when everybody recognizes we’ve got to have some urgency and we’ve probably got to throw it a little more you don’t really want to become one-dimensional if you don’t have to, but we can play with anybody. We’ve just got to put it together early in football games I think.”

  • Jeremy Fowler reports that Saints’ QB Jameis Winston‘s ACL surgery did not include an MCL repair. Despite damage to the MCL, the ligament was considered strong enough to heal on its own.
  • Fowler also added that Winston is projected to begin working in non-contact drills in around six months.
  • Nick Underhill mentions that it would not be surprising if Alvin Kamara (knee) is ruled out from Week 11 after missing Friday’s practice. 

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply