AFC Notes: Bengals, Broncos, Chiefs


It’s been a rough year for Bengals CB Trae Waynes, who tore his pectoral lifting weights this offseason after signing a major free-agent deal to come to Cincinnati this offseason. He’s been rehabbing and has not seen the field yet. There’s a chance he could come back before the end of the season based on the usual timeline for the injury but he’s not certain.

“Still unsure at this point, honestly,” Waynes said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “I’m trying to work as hard and as fast and as smart as I can to get back out there without risk of jeopardizing my body to another injury. Unfortunately, it’s not up to me to decide if I can get cleared. So, I’m just doing my part to make that happen as soon as possible.”

The situation with the pandemic has made it even stranger for Waynes as a newcomer to the organization. Injured players always struggle with isolation from the rest of the team doing rehab instead of normal practice and game planning, but for Waynes it’s been even worse because of how much has moved to virtual. Waynes said he still feels like a member of the team but it’s different. 

“I do to an extent, but I’ve always had a weird feeling when I’ve been injured and not been able to play,” Waynes said. “Like, when I’m injured, I’m not really a part (of the team). I just feel differently because I’m not out there fighting and battling with the guys. I’ve always had a bad feeling about sitting back and watching. Now this is just amplified to a whole other level since I haven’t really been able to do anything. Do I feel a part of the team? Yes. Because the guys and the coaches have been really good about accepting me ever since I walked in the door, but personally, I feel like I haven’t made my mark on this team just because I haven’t done anything yet.”


  • Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes that the NFL’s new policy allowing fines for teams that don’t follow the policy of having one controlling owner could impact the Broncos. 
  • Denver is currently run by a three-person trust that’s managing the transition following the death of Pat Bowlen to his seven children. It’s believed all seven have an equal stake in the team but the trust’s job is to select one to be the controlling owner. 
  • However, it’s a messy transition. The trust has zeroed in on Brittany Bowlen, who’s working with the team now, as the next controlling owner, but there are a number of lawsuits from other family members.
  • The other six siblings would need to sign off on Bowlen becoming the controlling owner and that’s far from a guarantee. If they don’t sign off, the new league rules make it a practical requirement that the team be sold. 
  • The new NFL policy allows fines of up to $10 million per year and up to $2 million for individual owners for teams that don’t have one person holding final say in the organization. 


Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes finds new ways to prove each week that there’s very little he can’t do on a football field. The last time the Chiefs play, that included play design, as Mahomes threw a touchdown pass on a play he designed himself. 

“[T]here’s always been plays here and there that Coach Reid does a good job of letting me kind of help create and help design in a certain sense,” Mahomes said via Pro Football Talk. “He has his whiteboard, he just draws up plays all day and so every once in a while I’ll go in there and say, ‘Can we do this?’ And he usually gives me the green light. And so Ferrari Right kind of started as a joke, it started as I was taking snaps pre-practice and I would start running in jet motion and catching it. And all of a sudden I was like, ‘Man, I think this can really affect the defense. . . . Let me see if this is legal.’ And so took it to some coaches, then took it to Coach Reid and he helped design it and make something happen out of it, and it worked out and I was able to score a touchdown on it.”

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