Lions Rumors

Lions Fire Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia

Two days after the Lions endured a Thanksgiving blowout loss, they are making major changes. The organization announced the firings of Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim head coach, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will be Bevell’s first HC opportunity.

This move is certainly not unexpected, with the Lions on track to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Ownership gave Quinn and Patricia a playoffs-or-bust-themed directive for 2020. After being routed by the Panthers and Texans over the past two weeks, the Lions are well off course.

Patricia’s ouster marks a second former Bill Belichick assistant to be fired in-season. Patricia coached against interim Texans HC Romeo Crennel on Thursday, doing so weeks after Houston canned Bill O’Brien. Patricia did not come especially close to achieving the kind of success O’Brien did and will not finish his third season. The former Patriots DC’s Lions tenure will wrap with a 13-29-1 record.

Quinn determined Jim Caldwell‘s back-to-back 9-7 seasons were not worthy of a fifth year, leading to the former Pats executive bringing in his former coworker. Although the Lions’ swoon last season could be attributed to Matthew Stafford‘s midseason injury, they have no such excuse this year. Stafford has started throughout, and the Lions will enter Week 13 at 4-7. Since Patricia’s hire, the Lions have blown an NFL-most 18 fourth-quarter leads, as Ed Werder of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter).

While Caldwell’s Lions could not build on their 11-5 2014 season, Patricia’s teams did not come close to a worthwhile follow-up effort. The longtime NFL defensive coach has seen his third Detroit defense drop to 30th in points allowed. The regression was not especially steep, with the Lions ranking 28th in defensive DVOA in 2018 and ’19.

Quinn’s firing makes for an interesting NFL GM landscape. Three jobs — in Atlanta, Detroit and Houston — are available before December. Quinn took over for Martin Mayhew in 2016; the Lions did not win 10 games in a season during his tenure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Rule Out D’Andre Swift

D’Andre Swift will not play on Thursday afternoon against the Texans, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Adrian Peterson, who started in Swift’s stead last week, figures to reprise that role while sharing the workload with Kerryon Johnson.

The Lions have held Swift out of practice ever since he suffered a concussion last week. There was some hope that Swift would be able to go for the Lions’ Thanksgiving game, but team doctors did not give him the green light.

Heading into the draft, many praised Swift as the best running back in this year’s class. The Lions weren’t thought to be targeting an RB early, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab the two-time 1,000-yard rusher at No. 35 overall. The Georgia product has seen his workload increase throughout the year, resulting in 331 yards off of 70 carries. Peterson, meanwhile, leads the team with 389 rushing yards.

The Lions will also be without wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola today. To fill the gap, they will turn to new addition Mohamed Sanu.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/25/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Football Team

Lions To Promote Mohamed Sanu

After two weeks on the Lions’ practice squad, Mohamed Sanu is set to return to game action. The Lions are promoting the veteran wide receiver, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Sanu played in three games for the injury-depleted 49ers this season but did not make much of an impact. He may have another chance to play a key role Sunday, with the Lions down both Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. This will be Golladay’s third straight absence.

Prior to the Patriots sending a second-round pick to the Falcons for Sanu, he had enjoyed a solid run of production in Cincinnati and Atlanta. Sanu fared well as a Julio Jones supporting-caster, but after the Falcons drafted Calvin Ridley, they moved on from their previous WR2. Sanu did not fare as well in New England and wound up a cap casualty this offseason.

The 31-year-old receiver will interestingly reunite with Marvin Jones, with the former Bengal teammates now doubling as by far Matthew Stafford‘s most accomplished wideouts. Jones and Sanu played together from 2012-15, but A.J. Green‘s sidekicks parted ways in the ’16 offseason when Jones signed with Detroit and Sanu landed in Atlanta.

The Lions also promoted defensive lineman Frank Herron from their practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Stafford, Bridgewater, Bears

Matthew Stafford is dealing with a hand injury, but there’s hope the ailment won’t sideline the veteran. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Lions quarterback suffered a “partial tear in a ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand.”

The team will evaluate Stafford’s ability to throw the ball throughout the week, but it’s expected that Stafford will ultimately be in uniform on Sunday against the Panthers.

2019 aside, Stafford has been remarkably durable throughout his NFL career. Prior to his season-ending injury last season, Stafford had appeared in 136 consecutive regular season contests, the sixth-longest mark in NFL history. The 32-year-old has had a solid comeback season for the 4-5-0 Lions, completing 63.7-percent of his passes for 2,403 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

If Stafford were to miss any time, the Lions would likely turn to backups Chase Daniel or David Blough.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the league…

  • Speaking of Lions/Panthers, Teddy Bridgewater‘s MCL sprain “is consider minor,” according to Pelissero (via Twitter). The Panthers quarterback is expected to practice on a limited basis at tomorrow’s practice, and as the reporter notes, head coach Matt Rhule had previously expressed optimism that Bridgewater will play against the Lions. Bridgewater suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of his team’s loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
  • Despite being carted off the field yesterday, Bears quarterback Nick Foles could be available following his team’s bye. While the veteran is dealing with both hip and glute injuries, coach Matt Nagy said Foles should be alright. “It wasn’t as bad as we once thought,” Nagy said (via Gene Chamberlain of the Associated Press). “He’ll be working through that here as we go, keeping an eye on that, kind of day to day.”
  • While Foles could play against the Packers in two weeks, Nagy wasn’t so confident that backup Mitch Trubisky will be in uniform. “I think there’s a possibility, but I don’t know that for sure,” Nagy said. “I think it’s going to be day by day. I don’t know if he knows that. So we’ll just keep an eye on that.” The former second-overall pick has seen only one snap since Week 3.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/14/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team 

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/11/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/10/20

Here are the NFL’s recent practice squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Released: C Cohl Cabral

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/20

We’ve got a long list of all the minor transactions from the last day or so:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: DL Ron’Dell Carter
  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

The trade deadline is in the rear view mirror, but teams are still keeping a watchful eye on their salary cap figures. For contenders, the available dollars can be used for late-season signings. For all clubs, a portion of the unspent dollars can be rolled over into future seasons, giving them a larger budget to work with in the first wave of free agency.

Here are the most recent figures for each team, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $31MM
  2. New York Jets – $30.4MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $28MM
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars– $26.3MM
  5. Philadelphia Eagles– $23.9MM
  6. Washington Football Team – $23.3MM
  7. New England Patriots – $21.8MM
  8. Denver Broncos – $19.8MM
  9. Miami Dolphins – $15.6MM
  10. Detroit Lions – $14.2MM
  11. Cincinnati Bengals– $12.3MM
  12. Indianapolis Colts – $10.7MM
  13. Los Angeles Chargers — $8.4MM
  14. New York Giants – $8MM
  15. Chicago Bears – $7.6MM
  16. Houston Texans – $7.5MM
  17. Los Angeles Rams – $6.9MM
  18. Pittsburgh Steelers – $6.9MM
  19. Green Bay Packers – $6.7MM
  20. Arizona Cardinals– $6.2MM
  21. New Orleans Saints – $6MM
  22. Las Vegas Raiders – $6MM
  23. Kansas City Chiefs – $5.7MM
  24. Carolina Panthers – $5.5MM
  25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $5.3MM
  26. Tennessee Titans – $4.6MM
  27. Minnesota Vikings – $3.8K
  28. San Francisco 49ers – $3.7MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $3.3MM
  30. Baltimore Ravens – $3.3MM
  31. Buffalo Bills – $3MM
  32. Atlanta Falcons – $1.8MM