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Around the NFC South

8/16/2013

Time for our morning run through the news and notes from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Roddy White, who left Thursday night’s game with an ankle injury, gave a thumbs up on Twitter. But coach Mike Smith wasn’t ready to address any injuries.

Dominique Davis showed huge improvement in the second preseason game. Davis might have done enough to wrap up the backup job behind Matt Ryan.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Linebacker Chase Blackburn had to leave Thursday night’s game with a back injury. After the game, Blackburn said he had a back spasm and that he should be all right in a day or two.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

We’ll get a much better idea of where things stand in the backup quarterback competition Friday night. Seneca Wallace is scheduled to play after Drew Brees. Wallace didn’t play in the preseason opener as he recovered from a groin injury. Luke McCown turned in a solid performance in the opener, and Wallace will have to turn in a strong showing if he’s going to beat out McCown.

Coach Sean Payton confirmed that Jonathan Vilma had knee surgery, but wouldn’t give any more details or a time frame for the linebacker to return. Given Vilma’s age and injury history, I’d say the Saints better make sure David Hawthorne is ready to start if needed.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Scott Reynolds writes that defensive end Da’Quan Bowers needs to answer the wake-up call that coach Greg Schiano has been sending. Schiano has repeatedly made it clear Bowers needs to play more consistently if he’s going to be an every-down defensive end. The ability is there, but Bowers needs to step things up to solidify his role.

The Bucs will have one half of their guard tandem playing in Friday night’s preseason game. Carl Nicks, who missed half of last season with a toe injury, is expected to make his debut. But Davin Joseph, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, will sit this one out.