Around the NFC South

I just arrived back at NFC South Blog headquarters and it’s time to take a quick trip the headlines around the division.

It’s no shock that Carolina coach John Fox would only say that wide receiver Steve Smith is day-to-day with a high ankle sprain. Fox lists just about every injury as day to day. But Smith’s agent admitted it’s likely his client will miss Sunday’s game against Chicago. The Panthers have a bye after the Bears, so it’s possible Smith might miss only one game.

The Bucs aren’t quite ready to hand the starting flanker job to rookie Arrelious Benn, but coach Raheem Morris said Benn has earned time in the rotation. Look for Benn to start getting more snaps and Sammie Stroughter to start transitioning to the slot.

The Saints will audition some free-agent safeties on Tuesday after having several injuries Sunday. Coach Sean Payton said he’s hopeful starting strong safety Roman Harper can return after missing Sunday’s game. Chris Reis got playing time as one of Harper’s replacements, but suffered a shoulder injury. Payton said Harper already has been ruled out for this week. Pierson Prioleau, who started in Harper’s place, suffered a lung injury and the Saints aren’t sure if he’ll be ready to play this week.

It appears as if Atlanta's William Moore is taking over the starting job at strong safety on a permanent basis. He’s played well after Erik Coleman suffered an injury. Coleman is back and healthy, but Moore is still starting. This is the arrangement the Falcons had hoped for all along, but things got delayed a bit in the preseason as Moore was overcoming an injury of his own.