Morning NFC South roundup

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas


The news that left tackle Sam Baker's hip isn't responding to treatment and he's seeking additional medical opinions is more than a little concerning. The rookie has played very well when he's been able to play. But Baker also had problems with a concussion earlier in the season and the Falcons don't have a lot of depth on the offensive line. Veteran Todd Weiner filled in for Baker on Sunday, but his knees are shaky. Look for the Falcons to go out and sign a tackle shortly.


Hardy Nickerson and Doug Williams are among five former Bucs on this year's Hall of Fame ballot. But they're all very long shots. The second Tampa Bay player to follow Lee Roy Selmon into the Hall of Fame will be either Warren Sapp or Derrick Brooks.


Coach John Fox almost always defers to veterans, but there could be an exception on the horizon. Fox is going to have to choose between second-year pro Dwayne Jarrett and D.J. Hackett as the third receiver when the Panthers get back from their bye. Jarrett made a key catch against Arizona and finally may have worked his way out of the doghouse he's spent his career in. It also helps that Hackett has been injured and hasn't done a lot when he has played.


The team reportedly has cut punter Ben Graham and kicker Taylor Mehlhaff. That's not all that surprising because the Saints have shown very little patience on special teams and the holder/kicker duo was part of a missed extra-point attempt Sunday. Although Mehlhaff, who was a draft pick, has a chance to return at some point (maybe even on the practice squad), the Saints probably have seen the last of Graham. He was a one-game solution, mainly because he had a passport and it was easy to get him to London. The passport could have been the reason the Saints signed Graham, instead of someone like Todd Sauerbrun -- the best punter to ever live, breathe and reportedly hit a cab driver -- on short notice. The Saints will use the bye week to find a new kicker and punter.