- USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (MCL) was tentatively scheduled for surgery on Friday, December 17 with Dr. Neal El Attrache.
- Anderson adds Arizona’s internal expectation is for the receiver to miss 2-4 months, contrary to an earlier report that Hopkins could make it back if the team advanced deep in the playoffs.
- According to Aaron Wilson, the Cardinals brought in DT Matt Dickerson for a visit.
- Falcons DC Dean Pees said safeties Jaylinn Hawkins and Shawn Williams must step up to fill in for S Erik Harris (pectoral). (Michael Rothstein)
- Pees added second-round CB Richie Grant will not move to safety given he’s starting in their nickel role: “He is still a safety but he is primarily the nickel.” (Rothstein)
- As for installing his full defensive system, Pees explained that he typically has about “60-70 percent installed” at this point in the season. However, Pees added that it is more important to run their system effectively as opposed to having an extensive playbook. (Tori McElhaney)
Panthers QB Cam Newton has cooled down after a hot start to his return to Carolina. But there’s a legitimate argument that he might still be the best option for the team in 2022 given the corner they’ve backed themselves in at the position. Former Panthers LB Thomas Davis, a long-time teammate of Newton’s, thinks the former MVP still has a lot left in the tank.
“I honestly feel like he still can get it done. He shows that he’s back healthy. His arm strength is there. He’s still the same Cam that we knew as far as being able to pull the ball down and run and make plays with his legs,” Davis said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “It’s all about adding pieces around him. When you fix the offensive line situation that the Panthers have had over the last three or four years that they’ve struggled with. I think that’s one of the areas of need that they really need to address this offseason.
“When you also factor in him having that continuity that you need as a quarterback — having the offseason work to work with the receivers and the guys that he has around him, getting Christian McCaffrey back healthy. I think that this can be a really good offense under Cam Newton’s tutelage. It’s to be determined what the team is actually going to do with that. But I’m an advocate of him coming back.”