The Green Bay Packers canceled player availability on Monday, bracing for bad news as authorities searched for the missing 21-year-old son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin amid fears that he had drowned in an icy Wisconsin river.
Police in Oshkosh, Wis., have been searching for 21-year-old Michael T. Philbin since Sunday evening. He disappeared at about 2 a.m. Sunday after an outing with friends in the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus area, about 50 miles from Green Bay.
Joe Philbin spent Monday in Oshkosh, where divers recovered the body of a man between the ages of 20 and 25 from the Fox River in late afternoon after a security guard reported hearing cries for help from someone on the ice. Oshkosh police said no foul play was suspected.
“The Philbin family’s obviously going through a tough time right now, and as we always have, we’re a family-first philosophy with our organization, with our program,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday afternoon. “So we’re supporting Joe and his family the best we can, and we’re holding out hope that this comes to positive conclusion.”
News of Michael Philbin’s disappearance made for a difficult day in Green Bay, where the Packers are preparing for an NFC divisional playoff game against the New York Giants on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Philbin family during this difficult time,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.
K.C. HIRES CRENNEL
Romeo Crennel is the new head coach of the Chiefs.
The team officially removed the “interim” tag from the 64-year-old Crennel at a press conference Monday.
“I’ve known Romeo for quite some time and understand and know what he is and who he is and what he represents,” general manager Scott Pioli said at a news conference.
FISHER STILL FLIRTING
The St. Louis Rams are reporting on their website that they and the Dolphins are finalists in the bidding to hire Jeff Fisher as their head coach.
The team said Monday that the former Titans coach completed a second interview with the Rams on Sunday, touring facilities in St. Louis and spending time with quarterback Sam Bradford. Fisher also interviewed with owner Stan Kroenke in Denver last week.
Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has returned to the college ranks to take the same job at Auburn.
Auburn announced the hiring Monday of VanGorder, who has run Atlanta’s defense for four years.
VanGorder is the former coach at Georgia Southern and former defensive coordinator at Georgia, where he won the 2003 Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
CHARGERS STAY PUT
The San Diego Chargers are staying put next season.
Owner Dean Spanos said Monday that the team will not exercise its right to move the NFL franchise for at least another year.
The Chargers want to allow more time for efforts to build a new downtown stadium. Spanos and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders say in a joint statement that they will work closely together to make that happen.
New Jaguars owner Shahid Khan made a major personnel change Monday, dismissing Paul Vance as the team’s senior vice president of football operations and general counsel. Vance had been with the organization since its inception, and since 2001. … Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway will replace the injured Lance Briggs of Chicago on the NFC Pro Bowl roster. … Redskins linebacker London Fletcher will replace injured Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher in the Pro Bowl.