Team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed the firing of Mike McCarthy on Monday, saying the move was made to get a head start on the coaching search.
“Knowing we were going to make the change, it was better to do it now rather than make it in the offseason,” Murphy said.
While Murphy will run the coaching search, he said Gutekunst will be “actively involved” and he will not hire “a coach Brian’s not comfortable with.”
Murphy said Aaron Rodgers will be “free to add input,” but Murphy and Gutekunst both emphasized the quarterback will not be involved in the process of hiring the next head coach.
—After sitting out three games with a strained foot, Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold could start Sunday at the Buffalo Bills.
Head coach Todd Bowles said Darnold’s return “remains to be seen,” adding, “I expect him to be out there. We’ll evaluate him as he goes out there.”
According to Bowles, Darnold was healthy enough to play against Tennessee on Sunday, but he started Josh McCown because of concern the rookie would have “rust” issues after a four-week layoff.
—Kareem Hunt went unclaimed on waivers and is officially a free agent.
Hunt, released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and would not have been eligible to play if claimed before the 4 p.m. ET deadline Monday.
Not long before time ran out on waiver wire claims, a new report surfaced alleging Hunt and others — including then-Chiefs running back George Atkinson — beat a man to the point of unconsciousness at a nightclub in Kansas City on Jan. 11.
—The Chiefs re-signed former running back Charcandrick West.
The team chose West — who played for K.C. from 2014 until his release in August — over C.J. Anderson due to his familiarity with the playbook and experience on special teams.
—Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green has torn ligaments in his right big toe and will have season-ending surgery, ESPN reported.
Per the report, Green’s recovery will take three to four months, but he should recover fully and be ready for organized team activities in May. Green was seen in a walking boot on Monday at the Bengals’ facility, but head coach Marvin Lewis declined to update his status.
—Following their fourth consecutive loss, the Carolina Panthers fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.
The Panthers also announced that head coach Ron Rivera will handle defensive play-calling duties. Eric Washington will oversee the defensive front seven, Sam Mills III will lead the defensive line and Rivera will work with Richard Rodgers in the secondary.
—The New York Giants will start quarterback Eli Manning again in Week 14 against the Washington Redskins, head coach Pat Shurmur said.
Shurmur added there’s a “good chance” that rookie fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta remains the backup on Sunday, a week after he dressed ahead of Alex Tanney for the first time this season.
—The Denver Broncos won’t put cornerback Chris Harris Jr. on injured reserve after he suffered a small break in his right leg Sunday.
Harris told reporters he’s targeting the Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 30 for a return, though he said trainers have told him that might be one week too early.
—After missing two games with a stinger, Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith said he expects to play Sunday against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Meanwhile, executive vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that center Travis Frederick is doubtful to play again this year, though Frederick expects to make a full recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome.
—Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks is “ready to go” this week after the NFL reinstated him from an eight-week suspension.
The 28-year-old Kendricks drew the lengthy suspension after he pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges.
—San Francisco running back Matt Breida will sit out the 49ers’ home game this week against the Broncos.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said it will be the first time Breida, who aggravated the ankle in pregame warmups on Sunday, misses a game since he was a freshman in high school.
—The Arizona Cardinals placed rookie receiver Christian Kirk and offensive lineman Mike Iupati on injured reserve.
Both were injured Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Kirk suffered a broken foot, and Iupati has an MCL injury.
—The Los Angeles Chargers released right tackle Joe Barksdale, after he missed Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers due to personal reasons.
Barksdale started 42 games for the Chargers from 2015-17, but he hurt his knee in Week 1 and lost the starting job to Sam Tevi.
—Buffalo Bills center Russell Bodine had surgery to repair a broken left fibula and is done for the season.
—Field Level Media