- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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We just finished the NFC South chat and we’ve got some items from around the division that are worth weighing in on. Let’s take a quick look at some headlines.
Larry Holder reports that suspended New Orleans coach Sean Payton will attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but not Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game between the Saints and Cardinals. Payton reportedly has received NFL permission to attend the ceremony, but he has 24 hours to inform the league if he has contact with anyone employed by any NFL team. That would be a violation of one of the conditions of his suspension. Payton has to play by the rules because he really has no other choice. I think what’s happening here is that he’s attending the ceremony as a salute to Cortez Kennedy, who has worked as a consultant for the Saints.
Assistant head coach Joe Vitt would not reveal his plans for the quarterback rotation in Sunday’s game. But I think it’s fair to say we probably can expect to see Drew Brees for only a series or two. The Saints have an extra preseason game and I’m sure they’ll be cautious about playing their starters a lot in the first game.
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said an MRI revealed no structural damage to linebacker Thomas Davis’ knee. Rivera said Davis tweaked the knee and also has a calf injury. This is good news for a player that’s coming off his third torn ACL. But it’s still a reminder of how tenuous Davis’ situation is. The Panthers prepared for that by drafting Luke Kuechly in the first round. If they get anything at all out of Davis, it’s a bonus.
Scott Reynolds reports that Tampa Bay offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood restructured his contract and took a $1 million cut in pay. The deal was done July 23, but it’s important to note the new deal makes Trueblood’s $4 million base salary for this season guaranteed. Nothing was guaranteed in the old contract.