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Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold, RB Christian McCaffrey active vs. New England Patriots

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The Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is active Sunday against the New England Patriots.

Running back Christian McCaffrey, who was activated from injured reserve on Saturday, also is active.

Darnold officially was listed as questionable because of a shoulder injury. He also suffered a concussion last week against the Atlanta Falcons but cleared the concussion protocol Saturday.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule told reporters Friday that Darnold was considered a game-time decision against New England, saying Carolina must “prepare for all contingencies and expect the unexpected.”

P.J. Walker took most of the reps with the first-team offense in practice this week and would replace Darnold under center if the former No. 3 overall draft pick is unable to play.

Walker replaced Darnold in the fourth quarter against Atlanta but has struggled in limited action this season, completing just 3 of 15 passes.

After getting off to a fast start this season with the Panthers, Darnold also has struggled lately, throwing four touchdowns and seven interceptions over Carolina’s past five games.

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Los Angeles Rams RB Darrell Henderson, WR Odell Beckham Jr. active vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. is active for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A source had told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the team was not optimistic about him being able to play but he would test out his injured thigh before Sunday’s game before it made a decision.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., also is active. Like Henderson, he was listed as questionable. Beckham has a hip injury.

Running back James Robinson is active for the Jaguars. He had been listed as questionable due to heel and knee injuries. Robinson has been hobbled for weeks with the injuries but was feeling better Saturday.

Henderson, the Rams’ top running back, has rushed for 648 yards and five touchdowns this season.

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Gardner Minshew throws first TD as an Eagle, a 36-yard dart to Dallas Goedert

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Minshew mania — it is upon us.

Starting in place of the injured Jalen Hurts, Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew II got off to a red-hot start against the New York Jets on Sunday, connecting with tight end Dallas Goedert for a 36-yard touchdown on the team’s opening drive. Facing a second-and-1, Minshew unfurled a pass downfield as he was being hit. Goedert hauled it in and shed a tackle attempt before walking into the end zone.

Minshew went 3-for-3 for 61 yards on the Eagles’ first possession, with each of those completions going to Goedert. Hurts is sidelined with a sprained left ankle, opening the door for Minshew’s first start since Dec. 20 last season, when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Minshew hit Goedert again, this time for a 25-yard score, later in the first half.



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Carolina Panthers fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady with team sitting at 5-7

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The Carolina Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady with five games left in their season, the team announced Sunday.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said in a statement that he met with Brady on Sunday morning and “informed him that I have decided to make a change.”

“I’m very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half,” Rhule said.

Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take over the offensive coordinator duties with the rest of the offensive coaching staff for the remainder of the season.

The Panthers are on their bye this week.

In October, Rhule said he was sticking with Brady but wanted him to commit more to the running game. Brady, however, never committed to the running game to the level Rhule preferred (at least 30 attempts per game).

The Panthers started the season 3-0 but are currently 5-7. Star running back Christian McCaffrey is out for the season with an ankle injury while the team has started three different quarterbacks. Sam Darnold struggled after a strong start in the first three games and is currently on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Cam Newton is now starting at quarterback in his second stint with the franchise.

Brady joined the Panthers in January 2020 after helping LSU win a national championship as the Tigers’ passing game coordinator.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.

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