Hitting the NFC South links

Lots of little things going on around the NFC South on the last Sunday before Sunday’s get real. So let’s turn to the links to bring you up to speed.

Roy Cummings reports the Bucs have claimed center Ted Larsen and running back Kregg Lumpkin off waivers. Not a surprise, because this roster needs some work and general manager Mark Dominik is a big believer in using the waiver wire to find help. There could be more additions coming, and we don’t know yet how the Bucs will create roster spots for the new guys.

Rick Stroud reports that Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has passed a big test as he returns from a fractured right thumb. Freeman has been able to take snaps from center Jeff Faine without any problems.

Although the Saints haven’t officially announced their practice squad, James Varney has seven names. The most familiar are quarterback Sean Canfield and defensive lineman DeMario Pressley.

As is the custom in New Orleans, the Saints aren’t saying much about injuries until they have to issue an official injury report. But running back Chris Ivory said his knee injury involves the medial collateral ligament and said he’s improving every day. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma didn’t have much to say about his groin injury.

Darin Gantt points out that, at the moment, 35 of the 53 players on Carolina’s roster were drafted by the Panthers.

Things are pretty quiet in Atlanta today, but D. Orlando Ledbetter reports that tight end Tony Gonzalez has set up an interesting contest for fans to help celebrate his 1,000th catch, which will be his first catch of this season.