South Notes: Bucs, Jackson, Titans, Wayne

Even at 1-5, the Buccaneers are still right in the thick of it, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times writes. The Panthers (3-3), Saints (2-4), and the Falcons (2-5) all lost on Sunday, meaning that Tampa Bay is just two wins out of first place in the NFC South. “I watched all the games this week,” coach Lovie Smith said. “I know what happened in our division. I realize how many games we’re out of first place. We’re in it as much as anyone with our record. That’s what we’re focused on. There’s life when you take a little time off to not play a game and you end up in better position than when we started Sunday … we’re excited about that.” More from the South divisions..

  • When asked about reports that teams are interested in trading for Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Smith insisted that Tampa Bay doesn’t have him on the block. “We’re not trying to shop any of our players,” Smith said, according to Rick Stroud of WDAE (on Twitter).
  • The Titans‘ 2014 free agent acquisitions haven’t been contributing all that much, writes Paul Kuharsky of In their most recent outing against the Redskins, outside linebacker Shaun Phillips played just 44% of the defensive snaps while supposed X factor Dexter McCluster saw just six snaps on offense.
  • Reggie Wayne‘s elbow injury probably won’t force the Colts to go shopping for a wide receiver. Mike Chappell of the Indy Star (on Twitter) hears that Wayne’s injury isn’t too serious and he should only miss a game or two. He’ll have extra time to heal up as well with the club’s Week 10 bye still ahead.
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