Around the NFC South

December, 5, 2012
12/05/12
9:35
AM ET
Let's take a run through the Wednesday morning headlines from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Fullback Mike Cox spent three seasons with the Chiefs and considered Jovan Belcher, who died in a murder-suicide Saturday, a close friend. Cox told D. Orlando Ledbetter that players shouldn’t be hesitant to lean on their teammates for help and support when they’re experiencing off-field problems.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Receiver Brandon LaFell has turf toe and could miss some time. That could lead to more playing time for rookie Joe Adams, who had his first career catch Sunday. Adams had opened the season as the punt returner, but lost that job after he had some problems with fumbles. Adams has excellent speed, and the Panthers can use the rest of the season to find out if he has a future as a receiver.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The appeals hearings on the bounty saga have wrapped up, and indications are that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who presided over the appeals, will have a decision next week. But this situation might not be resolved for some time. Larry Holder writes that legal wrangling continues. The players facing suspensions and the NFL each submitted answers to a federal judge on whether or not current commissioner Roger Goodell had the authority to suspend players.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

You’re going to hear a lot about Tampa Bay’s only Super Bowl championship team this week as the Bucs will honor players and coaches from that team at Sunday’s home game with Philadelphia. Ira Kaufman has a nice story in which Jon Gruden, who coached that team, reflects at length on the championship season.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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