NFC Notes: Calvin Ridley, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Falcons WR Calvin Ridley, who was suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling, responded to criticism from a fan on Twitter who said he isn’t interested in playing football: “Most definitely wanna play!!”
  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith said LB Deion Jones is “trending in the right direction” with his rehab from shoulder surgery while on the PUP list but didn’t provide a timetable for his return. (Scott Bair)
  • Smith praised some second-year players, but notably excluded G Jalen Mayfield who has been working with the second string in recent days: “There are certain things that Jalen needs to continue to do better. Once he does that, we will see how it plays out.” (Josh Kendall)


Panthers third-round QB Matt Corral is technically in a competition to start, though the rookie is a dark horse to actually win against the other veteran options. He talked this week about how he wished he had chosen a more competitive college landing spot than Ole Miss, where he started as a true freshman. 

“I took the easy way out because I felt I could play right away,” Corral said, via David Newton of ESPN. “Knowing what I know now and trusting my work ethic, I would have [gone] to a place that would have made me compete.”

“I’m going to try and compete and get the starting job,” Corral added. “Whatever that takes, I’m going to do. Wherever the cards fall, they fall. There is definitely a lot to learn, and I know this is a process. It’s all about the longevity of getting a job. I’m in a rush, but I’m not if that makes sense.”

Panthers HC Matt Rhule has said ideally 2022 is a “redshirt” year for Corral but he doesn’t want him to use that as an excuse to not be ready if his number’s called.

“He’s been very clear to me that’s not his approach,” Rhule said. “I want us to be a competitive team. I talk about the competition all the time. You’ve got to fight for what you want. We all want to be the guy. You go to any quarterback room, everybody wants to be the guy. It’s all about competing and making each other better.”


  •’s Jeff Duncan reports Saints S Tyrann Mathieu was expected to return to the team on Wednesday after missing the first six practices of training camp due to a personal matter. 

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