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NFL News and Notes: December 9, 2018

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news and notes surrounding week 14 of the NFL season.

Kareem Hunt Seeks Counseling

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has entered into counseling to help him deal with alcohol abuse and anger management issues. The NFL likely would have mandated this type of action for Hunt, but he was proactive in his seeking out help immediately. Hunt was released by the Chiefs after a video surfaced that showed him kicking a woman during an incident in February. The NFL is currently investigating three separate incidents involving Hunt, and disciplinary action is not expected to be announced anytime soon. Hunt cleared waivers and is eligible to sign with any NFL team via free agency, but he is currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. The minimum suspension for this type of behavior is six games, but it is likely that the NFL will hand down a more severe punishment.

Brady Sets Record in Disappointing Loss

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now the NFL’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes. Brady entered the game in a tie with Peyton Manning for most career touchdown passes, including playoffs, but a second-quarter touchdown throw set the record. The 41-year-old Brady has now thrown 580 career touchdowns, all with the New England Patriots. Brady also holds the record for most passing yards in NFL history and the record for touchdowns thrown to different receivers. The Patriots suffered a 34-33 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday on the game’s final play. The loss kept the Patriots from winning a record 10th consecutive AFC East title.

Conner Out For Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers were without running back James Conner for their week 14 matchup with the Oakland Raiders. According to sources, Conner could also miss the Steelers week 15 showdown with the New England Patriots. Conner suffered an ankle injury during week 13, and tests revealed that the injury is more serious than what was initially thought. The second-year running back has scored 13 touchdowns this season while taking over the starting job in the absence of Le’Veon Bell. Conner has run for 909 rushing yards on 201 carries and caught 52 passes for 467 receiving yards. The Steelers currently lead the AFC North Division.

Alex Smith Unlikely To Be Ready To Start 2019

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith is battling infection after suffering a gruesome leg injury on November 18 in a game against the Houston Texans. Smith suffered a broken fibula and tibia, and emergency surgery was performed in an effort to fix the injury. The Redskins have announced that Smith remains hospitalized with the infection, and there is no timetable for his return to football. Sources believe that Smith is unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2019 NFL season, and his career in football might be over. The Redskins signed Smith to a four-year $94 million extension after acquiring him in a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs Punch Playoff Ticket

The Kansas City Chiefs have clinched a playoff berth in the AFC with their dramatic overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The Chiefs were able to outlast the Ravens, winning by a 27-24 score in a wild game. With the win, Kansas City improved their record to 11-2, and now have a stranglehold in the AFC for the top overall seed in the playoffs. The Chiefs are still in a tight battle with the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West, and the two teams will meet up for a Thursday night battle in Week 15.

Saints Clinch NFC South

The New Orleans Saints have clinched their second consecutive NFC South title with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 14. The Saints earned a 28-14 victory to clinch a spot in the playoffs. It is the first time in franchise history that the Saints have won the division in consecutive seasons. With the win, the Saints improved their overall record to 11-2 and are in a great position for a first-round bye in the playoffs. New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams appear to be in a two-way battle for the top overall seed in the NFC Playoffs.