Checking the injuries that matter most

Teams have issued their Friday injury reports, so it’s time to take a look at the significant injuries across the NFC South.

Falcons. Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is listed as questionable after sitting out practice for the third straight day. I’d look for Stephen Nicholas, a starter last year, to be back in the lineup. Safety Erik Coleman is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but went through the full practice Friday. I’d still expect to see William Moore start at safety. Wide receiver Michael Jenkins is questionable with a shoulder injury that’s held him out since the preseason. He practiced on a limited basis. I think the Falcons are treating this as Jenkins’ preseason, and the goal is to have him ready next week. Cornerback Brent Grimes also missed practice due to a family situation, but is expected to play Sunday.

Saints. Coach Sean Payton said running back Pierre Thomas (ankle) and safety Roman Harper (hamstring) will be game-time decisions. Payton said he needs to see some improvement from Thomas and Harper before deciding to let them play. If Thomas is out, look for Chris Ivory and Ladell Betts to share the work at tailback.

Panthers. Right tackle Jeff Otah will miss his fourth straight game with a knee injury. On the positive side, defensive ends Greg Hardy and Tyler Brayton returned to practice on a limited basis and are listed as questionable.

Buccaneers. They’re off this weekend, so there is no injury report.