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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Time for a stroll through the NFC South headlines.

The New Orleans Saints reportedly placed tight end David Thomas on injured reserve and promoted tight end Michael Higgins. They also added tight end Daniel Hardy, a seventh-round draft pick by Tampa Bay this year, to the practice squad. Thomas was a jack of all trades last season. But he wasn’t really a factor this year as he had problems with concussions. The Saints have used John Gilmore in his place at times and let fullback Jed Collins take on some of Thomas’ blocking duties.

Atlanta receiver Julio Jones said he’s not sure if he’ll play Sunday. Jones has missed time with a hamstring injury. It appears he’s close to being able to return, but how much he practices the rest of this week will provide a big clue on Jones’ status.

Carolina rookie Kealoha Pilares has won the NFC special Teams Player of the Week award after returning a kickoff for a touchdown against Detroit. Pilares is the first NFC South player to earn the weekly special teams award this season.

Stephen Holder reports that the Buccaneers fear defensive end Michael Bennett may miss some time with an injury. We’ll learn more on Bennett’s situation later Wednesday when coach Raheem Morris meets with the media. If Bennett is going to miss some games, we could see a lot more of rookie Da’Quan Bowers.