NFC South: Alex Stepanovich

Milloy, Anderson out for Falcons

December, 28, 2008
12/28/08
12:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

ATLANTA -- The Falcons will be without starting strong safety Lawyer Milloy.

He's been declared inactive because of a back injury suffered last week. Jamaal Fudge will start in his place. There will be one other lineup change for the Falcons: Defensive end Jamaal Anderson won't play because of a sprained ankle. Chauncey Davis will start in his place.

Atlanta's other inactives are: D.J. Shockley, Glenn Sharpe, Tony Gilbert, Wayne Gandy, Alex Stepanovich and Quinn Ojinnaka.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

An evening trip through the NFC South:

PANTHERS

There was some good news on the injury front as return man/receiver Ryne Robinson practiced. He also got upgraded from "week to week'' to "day to day''. That still doesn't guarantee he'll play Sunday. But, in Fox's world, any admission that there's progress on an injury is significant.

FALCONS

Backup center Alex Stepanovich participated in practice for the first time since suffering a back injury Aug. 11. Stepanovich and linebacker Coy Wire (ankle) are the only players listed on Atlanta's injury report.

BUCCANEERS

Linebacker Derrick Brooks (hamstring) sat out practice and said coach Jon Gruden is enforcing a "gag order'' about the injury. It should be pointed out Brooks was laughing every time he mentioned the gag order. Just a guess here, but I think Brooks placed it on himself. The injury was real enough to force him out of the New Orleans game. But it's not unusual for a veteran to get a day off (Warrick Dunn and Joey Galloway did). Let's wait and see if Brooks practices Thursday or Friday before trying to read too much into this one.

SAINTS

Keep an eye on the hamstring injury that kept strong safety Roman Harper out of practice today. If Harper's going to miss any game time, Josh Bullocks likely would return to the starting lineup. Bullocks lost the free safety job to Kevin Kaesviharn in the preseason. But Kaesviharn likely would switch to strong safety if Harper is out.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

  • Country singer Kenny Chesney got to practice with the team Monday. The singer is a close friend of coach Sean Payton, who is expected to attend a Chesney concert in New Orleans later this week.
  • The Saints wrapped up training camp at Millsaps College and will return to their own facility Wednesday.

ATLANTA FALCONS

  • The Falcons are down to their third center, Ben Wilkerson. Alex Stepanovich suffered a back injury Monday and starter Todd McClure already was out with an injury. The severity of Stepanovich's injury probably won't be known until Tuesday. McClure was running with the team's training staff on the sidelines Monday, but still isn't completely recovered. Wilkerson likely will get the start in Saturday's preseason game against Indianapolis.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

  • Kicker Matt Bryant said his two missed field goals against Miami happened because he wasn't following through enough. Bryant said he'll work on correcting that problem in practice this week.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

  • Rhys Lloyd doesn't like being called a kickoff specialist, but that's the only way he's going to make Carolina's roster. Veteran John Kasay has handled extra points and kickoffs for most of the franchise's existence and he isn't going anywhere. Lloyd has shown good leg on kickoffs and the Panthers are seriously considering keeping him around to handle that role.

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