NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

FALCONS  Albert Breer of SI.com writes that while the Falcons like what they have in third-round QB Desmond Ridder, they would likely consider all options if they end up with a high pick next year.

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

FALCONS  Albert Breer of SI.com writes that while the Falcons like what they have in third-round QB Desmond Ridder, they would likely consider all options if they end up with a high pick next year.

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

BUCCANEERS The Buccaneers ruled out five players from Week 16, including OT Donovan Smith (foot), DT Vita Vea (calf), CB Jamel Dean (toe), OLB Carl Nassib (pectoral), and OLB Genard Avery (abdomen, oblique). (Greg Auman)

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

SAINTS Injuries have left the Saints scrambling to find playmakers on offense this season, but they’ve also opened the door for players like TE Juwan Johnson to step up. Johnson has five touchdowns in his past four games and his seven scores on the season are second among all tight ends. He’s developed a rapport with veteran QB Andy Dalton in particular.

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

“There’s definitely a comfort level there,” Dalton said via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. “Juwan has done a lot of really good things, both the touchdowns were good run-after-catch plays by him. I feel like he’s playing with a ton of confidence, and it’s showing up on Sundays.”

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR

“I felt like for me in that time in my career, I just feel like it kind of got boring to me,” Johnson said. “Not necessarily boring, but kind of like, ‘I already know’ sort of attitude. But I just feel like in this role as a tight end, I’m always learning something new, and I just feel like that’s how it’s going to be for the rest of my career, knowing that this is only my second year into it and I have so much more to learn.”

— BY-PRAMOD KUMAR