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Cardinals fire run game coordinator after allegedly groping woman in Mexico

© Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Cardinals’ trip to Mexico City was one of disastrous proportions. Arizona took a 38-10 beatdown at the hands of the 49ers, falling to 4-7 and 1-4 in the NFC West. Their last divisional game is also against the 49ers on the final day of the season.

According to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, the Cardinals fired their offensive line coach/run game coordinator Shaun Kugler following an incident in Mexico before the game.

UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, Kugler was fired after he allegedly groped a woman in Mexico City.

Per Weinfuss:

“Mexican authorities were notified of the incident, which happened Sunday night, and then informed the Cardinals, who terminated Kugler and sent him back to Arizona on a flight Monday morning. The Cardinals had arrived in Mexico City on Saturday.”

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury told McManaman the following:

“We relieved him of his duties, and he was sent home Monday morning prior to the game. It’s challenging anytime you make a staff change in that type of manner and I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Kugler was brought on in 2019 as an assistant before becoming running game coordinator in 2021. Kingsbury told the AZ Republic that Kugler’s duties will be absorbed by assistant offensive line coach Brian Natkin and tight ends coach Steve Heiden, while offensive assistant Mike Bercovici will fill in for Heiden as tight ends coach.

The team will make a formal search to replace Kugler this offseason.

For Arizona, this is not exactly new. The team has now had two assistants depart during the course of the season.

Running backs coach James Saxon was placed on administrative leave and later resigned his post following an ESPN report that he was charged with assaulting a woman in Indianapolis.

Saxon pled guilty to one count of domestic battery on October 6 before resigning.