Let's take a quick run through some odds and ends from around the division:
Safety William Moore, cornerback Christopher Owens and defensive end Cliff Matthews each missed Thursday’s practice with hamstring injuries. Receiver Roddy White also missed practice with a knee injury. Even though coach Mike Smith has said he’s keeping his foot on the gas pedal with home-field advantage already clinched, I would expect him to be very cautious about playing any of the injured players on Sunday.
Coach Ron Rivera is unhappy that his players were overlooked for the Pro Bowl. Defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy and linebacker Luke Kuechly might have been the strongest candidates. But the reality is you’re not going to get a lot of recognition when you aren’t winning.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Fullback Jed Collins (knee) returned to practice Thursday. But running back Pierre Thomas (knee) and cornerback Jabari Greer (concussion) missed practice.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Tight end Dallas Clark was noncommittal about his future with the Bucs. The veteran signed only a one-year contract. Clark has been reasonably productive, but he hasn’t been a huge part of the offense. I expect the Bucs to at least look at younger alternatives at tight end, but re-signing Clark could be a fallback option.