NFC South evening update

I’m getting ready to watch the preseason game between the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. I’ll be back with observations on the Panthers soon after the game ends.

If you want to discuss the Panthers as the game is going on, hit the comments section below.

Meantime, here are a few headlines to bring you up to speed on what’s happening around the NFC South:

  • Coach Mike Smith said the Falcons are following NFL protocol with middle linebacker Akeem Dent, who suffered a concussion Thursday night. Smith said it's unclear if Dent will be able to play in the next preseason game.

  • With rookie Bradie Ewing out for the season, it doesn’t look as though the Atlanta Falcons simply are going to hand the starting fullback job to Mike Cox. They went out and got someone with extensive experience Saturday afternoon, signing Lousaka Polite as they placed Ewing on injured reserve. In a career that began in 2004, Polite has spent time with the Cowboys, Bears, Dolphins and Patriots. The Falcons also signed tight end Chase Coffman, who recently was released by Tampa Bay. The Falcons have also waived tight end Adam Nissley and punter Dawson Zimmerman.

  • The Bucs got a healthy dose of Miami’s no-huddle offense on Friday night. They handled it pretty well. Chalk it up as good experience because the Bucs are likely to see more of it in the regular season, particularly from the Falcons.

  • Guard Travelle Wharton, who was released by the Panthers after last season and quickly signed by the Bengals, suffered a season-ending knee injury, John Clayton reports. Carolina was ahead of the curve on this one. The Panthers let Wharton go for salary-cap reasons and because they felt age was catching up to him.