GREEN BAY, Wis. – Two major items of NFL news from Saturday will impact the Green Bay Packers.
First, the Detroit Lions fired coach Matt Patricia and the man who hired him, general manager Bob Quinn. Former University of Wisconsin quarterback Darrell Bevell will serve as interim coach. Bevell’s NFL coaching tenure started in Green Bay in 2000. He served as quarterbacks coach from 2003 through 2005.
Second, the Denver Broncos will host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday without a true quarterback due to COVID-19.
The Lions went 6-10 in 2018, 3-12-1 in 2019 due largely to quarterback Matthew Stafford missing half the season, and are 4-7 this year. That’s a record of 13-29-1 under Patricia. By contrast, the Lions went 36-28 the previous four seasons under Jim Caldwell.
The team suffered its fourth blowout loss in five weeks on Thanksgiving against Houston, which has rallied behind interim coach Romeo Crennel.
“Ten days ago, we looked like we had a good chance to be playoff bound,” Lions principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp said. “Both of those games (against Carolina and Houston) were extremely disappointing. It just seemed like the path going forward wasn't what we wanted it to be. So, yes, we thought this was a good time to make the change.”
After playing at Chicago next week, the Lions will host the Packers on Dec. 13.
Denver quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The team’s other quarterbacks were deemed high-risk close contacts and deemed ineligible to play. So, the Broncos will line up against the Saints without a true quarterback.
The Saints lead the NFC with an 8-2 record. Seattle and Green Bay are 7-3 and chasing the Saints for the No. 1 seed. New Orleans has won seven straight since losing to the Packers in Week 3.
The Broncos reportedly will use practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton as their quarterback. He played quarterback his first three seasons at Wake Forest, throwing eight touchdowns in 251 career attempts, before shifting to receiver as a senior in 2019.
“Huge adjustment, obviously. The line moved from 6.5 to 14 and is now at 15.5. I still think that’s not enough. I’m interested to see where it closes. We’re taking a lot of Saints money since the news and it will be all Saints money until kickoff,” Patrick Eichner, the direction of communications for PointsBet, told Packer Central via Casino.org.