Nothing is official yet, but it looks like the Detroit Lions will be moving on from head coach Jim Caldwell after the season is over. According to a report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is expected to be Caldwell’s last.
“Coach Jim Caldwell is expected to coach his last game for Detroit on Sunday, sources say,” Rapoport wrote.
It’s worth noting a few things about this report. First, Rapoport uses some pretty passive language here, like “expected” and even says later “Caldwell's status is now in doubt.” That is not at all the same as saying Caldwell will be fired.
Additionally, Rapoport’s sources on the Lions have been shaky. He falsely claimed that Eric Ebron suffered an achilles injury in 2016 when it was an ankle sprain and he missed out on a few gameday injury reports, as well.
However, all indications seem to point to Caldwell being out at this point. The rumors have been swirling that last Sunday’s loss to the Bengals sealed his fate.
If Caldwell’s tenure is indeed over with the Lions, he’ll leave Detroit with an overall record of 35-28 (plus the outcome of Sunday’s game). The Lions have made the playoffs in two of his four seasons, but failed to win a postseason game.
Like the earlier report from Mike Silver, Rapoport suggests that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be in consideration as Caldwell’s replacement. “Keep an eye on Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia,” Rapoport said. “A hire that would allow the Lions to keep the offensive side of the ball mostly in place.”
We’ll continue to follow this situation closely and see if we can get confirmation from anyone else.