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Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Let's take a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Atlanta defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux reportedly has a partially torn MCL. Babineaux suffered the injury in the Chicago game. It’s unclear if Babineaux will miss time, but the Falcons started off the season thin at defensive tackle as Corey Peters sat out the opener with a knee injury.

D. Orlando Ledbetter starts the hype for Sunday night’s showdown between the Falcons and Eagles or, more accurately, between Matt Ryan and Michael Vick. Interestingly enough, the two teams have played the past two seasons, but Ryan (Atlanta’s quarterback of the present) and Vick (Atlanta’s quarterback of the past) haven’t gone head to head in either game. In 2009, Ryan was out with an injury. Last season, Vick was out with an injury.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera said he doesn’t believe the torn Achilles tendon Jon Beason suffered at Arizona was related to recent surgery the linebacker had on his ankle. But you still have to wonder if Beason came back too soon.

The Chicago Bears have won their last four meetings with the New Orleans Saints, but all of those games have been at Soldier Field. This week’s game is in the Superdome. The Bears also have been a thorn in New Orleans’ side when it comes to the playoffs. The Bears eliminated the Saints in the 2006 and 1990 seasons.

John DeShazier writes that the injury to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning is a reminder of how important Drew Brees is to the Saints.

The Falcons re-signed center Brett Romberg and released center Rob Bruggeman. Romberg now will serve as the backup to Joe Hawley until veteran Todd McClure is ready to return from injury.

Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, the only NFC South coach who publicly singles out players when they struggle, pointed to defensive tackles Frank Okam and Roy Miller and linebackers Quincy Black and Geno Hayes as guys who had disappointing outings in the opener.