The NFL season is nearing the final stretch, and teams are starting to clinch playoff berths in both conferences. Let’s take a look at some news and notes leading up to week 14 of the regular season.
Packers Fire Mike McCarthy
After a disappointing week 13 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers announced that they have fired head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy spent 13 seasons as head coach of the Packers and posted a 125-77-2 record including a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. The Packers went 18-10 during the postseason under Mike McCarthy, but the team is off to just a 4-7-1 record this season. McCarthy also served as an offensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers before being hired by the Packers. The Packers announced that offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has been promoted to interim coach for the remainder of the season, but a search will take place after the season to name a new head coach.
Carolina Fires Two Coaches
The recent defensive struggles of the Carolina Panthers has cost a pair of coaches their jobs. Defensive line coach Brady Hoke and cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura were both fired by the Panthers on Monday. Carolina has lost four straight games, and head coach Ron Rivera believed that the timing was right to make some changes to the coaching staff. The Panthers had 15 takeaways in the first eight games of the season but has managed just one during the recent four-game losing streak.
McCoy Suffers Broken Leg
The Washington Redskins have lost another quarterback to a season-ending injury. Colt McCoy suffered a broken fibula in the Redskins week 13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and will be lost for the rest of the season. The injury to McCoy comes just two weeks after starting quarterback Alex Smith was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a gruesome leg injury that required immediate surgery. With Smith and McCoy both injured, Mark Sanchez is the only active quarterback on the Redskins roster. Sanchez struggled on Monday night, completing 13 of 21 passes for just 100 yards and an interception.
Kareem Hunt Clears Waivers
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that Kareem Hunt is officially a free agent of clearing waivers on Monday. Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday after a video surfaced of him kicking a woman during an altercation that took place in February. The NFL also placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List as the league tries to investigate the incident more thoroughly before deciding the right form of punishment. Hunt is eligible to sign with any team in the NFL but faces a minimum of a six-game suspension that will finish out the regular season.
A.J. Green Out For Season
The Cincinnati Bengals announced that they have placed wide receiver A.J. Green on season-ending injured reserve. Green has been dealing with an injured toe and aggravated the injury during a week 13 loss to the Denver Broncos. It has been reported that Green will meet with doctors on Tuesday to determine if and when the injury will require surgery. If surgery is required, Green would likely be out for a span of 4-5 months but would be healthy in time for next season’s training camp. Green finished with just 46 receptions for 694 yards and six touchdowns this season, his worst as a pro. The Bengals have lost six of their last seven games to fall to 5-7 on the season.
Steelers Get Banged Up in Loss
The Pittsburgh Steelers blew a late lead to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night and saw several key players go down with an injury in the process. Running back James Conner suffered a leg contusion in the fourth quarter of the game, but he is expected to be healthy enough to play in week 14. Conner has dealt with MCL injuries in his career, but this injury is not related to those injuries according to a report. Along with Conner, Justin Hunter suffered a shoulder injury, and linebacker Anthony Chickillo went down with an ankle injury. All three players had to leave the game and did not return. The Steelers will update the status of each player throughout the week.