Charlotte, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he’s “probably” given up hope of Greg Hardy playing this season following the NFL’s decision Tuesday to suspend Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for the remainder of the year.
Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault for injuries to his 4-year-old son.
Hardy, a Pro Bowl defensive end, was placed on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list Sept. 17, two months after being convicted on two counts of domestic violence. Hardy is appealing. His court date was recently pushed back to 2015.
Hardy becomes a free agent in March.
Rivera said the team hadn’t decided if it would consider re-signing Hardy.
Rivera says, “People are looking at us in terms of the moral compass, so we’ve got to be smart about things we decide.”
... Champ Bailey retired after signing a one-day contract with the Broncos.
... The Steelers released running back LeGarrette Blount. The move comes less than 24 hours after Blount left the field early in a victory over the Titans on Monday night.
“We believe the decision to release LeGarrette is in the best interest of the organization and wish him the best of luck,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement.
... The Panthers released wide receiver Jason Avant (Michigan) and placed starting right tackle Nate Chandler on injured reserve with a right knee injury. They also activated fullback Mike Tolbert from the injured reserve/designated to return list.
Avant was cut after comments made following Sunday’s `19-17 loss to the Falcons. The Panthers called three consecutive running plays — gaining 4 yards — before Graham Gano missed a 46-yard field goal with 1:22 remaining.
“I’ve been in the league a long time. I know two things. You never want to give a team a chance to win a game, with how much time was left on the clock. And asking a kicker to make a 50-yard field goal with the game on the line is rough sledding,” Avant said.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of cutting Avant: “In all fairness to him, it has nothing to do with what he didn’t do or did or anything like that,” Rivera said.
... Titans tight end Chase Coffman says running into a Ravens’ assistant on Nov. 9 was an accident and he will talk to the NFL about his $30,000 fine.
... The Browns waived running back Ben Tate. Tate left the Texans as an unrestricted free agent and signed a two-year, $6.2 million contract with the Browns, but ended up dividing the workload this season between Tate and rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell.
... The Colts signed former Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs and tight end Weslye Saunders.
They also placed running back Ahmad Bradshaw on season-ending injured reserve because of a fractured left leg and waived linebacker Victor Butler.