Around the NFC South

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
9:43
AM ET
Time for a look at the top Thursday morning headlines from around the NFC South.

New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins (neck) and receiver Lance Moore (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday. Although coach Sean Payton said his starters will play Sunday, look for him to be very cautious about using Jenkins and Moore.

Atlanta running back Michael Turner hasn’t put up big numbers lately. That’s led to speculation that he’s being slowed by a groin injury that’s caused him to miss some practice time. But Turner said Wednesday the injury has not been a factor. He said a decline in his numbers simply is because of the way recent games have unfolded.

Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton said he’s not upset he wasn’t selected to the Pro Bowl roster. Newton still has a shot to play in the game. He’s the first alternate behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning.

Carolina linebacker Dan Connor can become an unrestricted free agent after the season and said he plans to test the market. With Jon Beason expected back from injury, Connor could have to return to a backup role if he stays with Carolina.

Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber implied he might retire if coach Raheem Morris is fired. There’s no doubt Barber carries some clout. But I don’t know if the wishes of Barber and some other players will be enough to save Morris’ job.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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