Around the NFC South

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

A quick trip through today's headlines before I leave for Atlanta.


Rookie running back Jonathan Stewart practiced with the team Friday in California, reviving hopes he might be able to play Sunday against the Raiders. As always, look for coach John Fox to take the cautious approach on this injury. If Stewart plays, I wouldn't expect a lot of carries.

Defensive tackle Darwin Walker has been ruled out for Sunday.

It looks like Andrew Walter will start at quarterback in place of the injured JaMarcus Russell for Oakland. Like it matters.


We've heard plenty about Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and John Abraham and that's all justified. But you want an unsung hero in Atlanta's surprising start? Try right guard Harvey Dahl. He came into the league as an undrafted free agent, but has emerged as a very solid starter on a line that's helped the Falcons lead the league in rushing.


Sunday's game might be the first time this season receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jeremy Shockey have been on the field together and truly healthy.


Tampa Bay has its bye and all has been quiet. But I'll post my observations on the Bucs at their bye early this evening after I get settled into Atlanta.