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David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan doesn't concern himself with critics that say the Falcons have put up big numbers against three opponents haven't been the best defensively. But he doesn't hesitate to call Carolina's defense that he will face on Sunday "excellent." He likes the Panthers' young secondary, saying, "good athletes that are confident and aren't afraid to make plays."

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Dan Quinn said WR Mohamed Sanu (shoulder) will not participate in practice today but did go through walkthrough. LB DeVondre Campbell (ankle) will run on the side. WR Julio Jones will practice.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

For the second day in a row, QBs Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and Jacoby Brissett (7) take part in the start of practice. Their level of participation will become known later Wednesday when the club releases its injury report.

Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer 

Jim Caldwell said he believes Taylor Decker is going to be "fine." Believes he'll be a good player. Said Decker is the least of his worries right now.

Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer 

Lions HC Jim Caldwell said Marvin Jones has speed to run by you but he's a great athlete and can contort his body well.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is not practicing because of a back injury that kept him out of last week's game against the Chicago Bears. Smith was unable to finish last Friday's practice with tightness in his back but Jason Garrett said Smith is moving around better the last few days. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick will be limited in practice after he did not practice or play last week because of hamstring strains in both legs.

Adam Teicher ESPN Staff Writer 

Marcus Peters has the flu and will not practice today. The Chiefs sent him home.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Bills LT Corey Glenn is back on the practice field Wednesday for the first time since injuring his ankle in the season opener. WR Sammy Watkins (foot), TE Charles Clay (knee) and OT Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle) are not participating today.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Rex Ryan: "My sources tell me Babe Parilli will be the Patriots' quarterback. ... He doesn't move as well as he used to." Parilli, who played for the AFL's Boston Patriots from 1961-67, is 86.

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Pat McManamon ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Haden says he's day to day with his groin strain. Asked point blank if he thought he could play Sunday against the Redskins, Haden said: "I don't know."

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

Asks whether Ravens have thought about starting Terrance West over Justin Forsett at RB, coach John Harbaugh didn't answer it directly but said, "More than changes, it's about seeking to improve."

Sarah Barshop ESPN Staff Writer 

Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing returned to practice today. He has been out with a knee injury since Week 1 against the Bears.

Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer 

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans has a shirt on today that says, "Heart of a lion." He's got a big test this week with Aqib Talib, whom regards as one of the most physical corners in the league. Likes to trash talk a little too.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The. Cowboys placed rookie defensive end Charles Tapper on injured reserve with a back injury. Tapper was diagnosed with a Pars Defect early in training camp. He had a setback in his return to practice last week. He will now miss at least the next eight weeks if not the full season. The Cowboys needed the roster spot to add offensive tackle Emmett Cleary.

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

Ravens run off the field as heavy rain hits at end of practice