December 24, 2018 / 1:05 AM / 6 months ago

NFL notebook: Coaching rumor mill heats up

With the NFL regular season down to its final week following Sunday, the hot seat seems to be getting warmer for some coaches around the league. But perhaps not as many as most anticipate.

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone looks on during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

—NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Jacksonville Jaguars are unlikely to let a season plagued by injuries cost coach Doug Marrone his job. A preseason Super Bowl favorite, the Jaguars are 5-10 and in last place in the AFC South, with some of the struggles attributable to the 15 players — including three starters on the offensive line — Jacksonville has on injured reserve.

—Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is considering “sweeping changes” that could include the firings of head coach Adam Gase and executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, according to a CBS Sports report. Gase is 23-24 in nearly three seasons with the Dolphins.

—The Carolina Panthers are expected to retain head coach Ron Rivera, NFL Network reported. Per the report, new owner David Tepper has faith in the current brain trust and is expected to be patient. Rivera was named AP Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2015, but questions about his job security have mounted amid the team’s second-half collapse this season. The Panthers are 6-9 and on a seven-game losing streak following their 24-10 home loss to Atlanta.

—Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was taken to a local hospital after sustaining a neck injury early against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the game the initial indications are positive, saying, “Everything checks out, really good.” NFL.com reported Crawford was released from the hospital with a neck strain.

Crawford was hurt on the second play from scrimmage in a collision with Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen and was down on the field for several minutes. Crawford did give a thumbs up to the crowd as the cart drove off the field.

—The Indianapolis Colts lost tight end Eric Ebron (concussion) and center Ryan Kelly (neck) in the second quarter in their win over the New York Giants, and neither player returned.

—Houston Texans wide receiver Demaryius Thomas suffered what the NFL.com reported to be a torn left Achilles in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, going down on a non-contact play after pushing off his foot. Texans defensive backs Kayvon Webster (thigh) and Kareem Jackson (knee) were also lost for the game.

—The Bengals lost linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) and Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder) in their loss to Cleveland, and neither player returned.

—Green Bay lost a trio of players in its overtime win against the New York Jets: Cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin), receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (evaluated for a concussion) and defensive lineman Fadol Brown (toe).

—Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy didn’t start against New England due to what he termed a “situation” with coach Sean McDermott. Undrafted rookie Keith Ford drew the start before McCoy entered on the second offensive play. McCoy said after the game the “situation” had been resolved.

—Christian McCaffrey set the NFL record for the most receptions by a running back in a season, ending the day with 106 to break the record of 102 set by Matt Forte in 2014 with the Chicago Bears.

—Eagles tight end Zach Ertz broke the NFL record for receptions in a season at his position, eclipsing Jason Witten’s mark of 110. He finished the game against Houston with 113 grabs.

—The New England Patriots had an extensive plan in place to help troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon avoid the suspension that ended his season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gordon was suspended Thursday for violating terms of his reinstatement from a ban for substance abuse. The Patriots had assigned personnel to be with Gordon at all times to avoid such an incident, per Schefter, but Gordon might have eluded security during the team’s bye week in mid-November. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, however, reported Gordon had multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy and that his suspension was for “more than marijuana.”

—Field Level Media

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