NFC South: Hayworth Hicks

NFC South afternoon update

December, 13, 2012
12/13/12
4:45
PM ET
Lots of odds and ends have been popping up around the division this afternoon. Let’s take a quick run through them:

ATLANTA FALCONS

It’s starting to sound as if receiver Roddy White's knee injury might be a little more serious than initially thought. White missed his second straight day of practice Thursday and coach Mike Smith said the receiver’s playing status for Sunday could be a game-time decision. Go grab Harry Douglas for your fantasy team.

On the bright side, cornerback Asante Samuel, who has been bothered by a shoulder injury, said he’s ready to return.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Panthers remain pretty banged up. Running back Jonathan Stewart, receiver Brandon LaFell, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards and center/guard Geoff Hangartner each missed their second practice of the week. Defensive end Charles Johnson (back) also was added to the injury report and missed Thursday’s practice.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Reported testimony from the appeals hearings said that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wanted to stop the bounty program, but assistant head coach Joe Vitt told him not to. On Thursday, Vitt strongly disagreed with that claim. Vitt said when he was questioned about that matter during the hearings, he offered to take a lie-detector test.

The Saints continue to have issues at right tackle as Zach Strief and Charles Brown both missed another day of practice due to injuries. If they can’t play Sunday, William Robinson likely would get the start.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The Bucs are relatively healthy as they get ready to play the Saints. Cornerback LeQuan Lewis was the only player that didn’t practice fully. But Lewis did participate on a limited basis in Thursday’s practice for the first time since suffering a knee injury.

The Bucs just announced they have signed guard/tackle Derek Hardman and released guard Hayworth Hicks.

NFC South afternoon update

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
5:29
PM ET
I arrived back at NFC South Blog headquarters just a bit ago and there are a whole lot of odds and ends to catch up on from all around the division. Let’s take a rapid-fire look:

ATLANTA FALCONS

The team’s plans for a new stadium seemed to take another step forward as the Georgia World Congress Center Authority approved a non-binding term sheet that will provide the basis for further negotiation. There still likely will be some ups and downs, but both sides seem to be moving toward getting a deal done.

The Falcons held injured cornerback Asante Samuel out of Sunday’s game with Carolina even though he was on the active roster. Coach Mike Smith said Samuel could have played in an emergency situation. But the Falcons obviously were being cautious with the veteran. Smith said he expects Samuel to practice Wednesday. Smith wasn’t as optimistic about safety William Moore, who sat out Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Scott Fowler writes that Cam Newton’s 72-yard touchdown run against Atlanta should be on the list of the greatest plays in franchise history. I agree that Newton’s run was spectacular, but I’m not ready to declare it a pivotal moment in franchise history just yet. If, in hindsight, the play ends up helping Ron Rivera keep his job and the Panthers come back and do some great things next season, then the Newton run truly will be special.

The war of words between the Falcons and Panthers isn’t over even though the season series is. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant reportedly said outspoken Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy and his teammates can “watch us in January’’. This rivalry always has simmered but it’s really heating up. Too bad former Carolina punter Todd Sauerbrun still isn’t in the league because he was a master at stirring the pot.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Bradley Handwerger writes that the Saints seem to have lost the aura of invincibility they’ve had for the past three seasons. That’s true. They’re back to being about the same team they were in 2007 and ’08. Assuming suspended coach Sean Payton gets his contract situation worked out, he's going to have to do some rebuilding next season.

A ruling by former NFL commissioner on the appeals of suspensions in the bounty scandal reportedly will be announce Tuesday.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Roy Cummings writes that Sunday marked the fourth time this season the Bucs have blown a fourth-quarter lead. But Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia is disconcerting for a team that had appeared to be on the rise. The previous lost fourth-quarter opportunities came against the Falcons, Giants and Redskins. Those are teams that are at good teams. The Eagles don’t even fall into that category.

Coach Greg Schinao said his decision to punt to Philadelphia near the end of Sunday’s game was not due to a lack of confidence in quarterback Josh Freeman and the offense. Schiano said he decided to take his chances with his defense against rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who ended up leading his team to a game-winning drive. I’d take my chances with Tampa Bay’s run defense, but the pass defense has been a completely different story. Even against a rookie quarterback, it wasn’t good enough.

One late addition here -- The Bucs just announced they have placed cornerback Myron Lewis on inured reserve and claimed guard Hayworth Hicks off waivers from Kansas City.

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