AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs



Broncos’ HC Vic Fangio is hoping that defensive linemen DeMarcus Walker and Dre’Mont Jones are able to step up with several key starters absent this week.

“I thought DeMarcus had a very good game last week in the snaps that he did get,” Fangio said, via Kyle Newman of The Denver Post. “He made some good plays for us, and had a sack that got taken away by a bad penalty called in the secondary. We need him to build on that game and continue to get better and I think he can. Same thing with Dre… He’s definitely improved each and every game. You can see him getting his strength and his confidence back.”

Jones and Walker both mentioned that they plan on staying focused during their opportunities this week, with Walker noting that he is planning on “controlling what I can control” in the final year of his contract.

“It really just depends on me focusing up and watching the film some more,” Jones said. “Just really concentrating on the little things in the run game. I don’t feel the pressure of trying to keep it up more (against the run). I think I just have to go out there and play normal football that I’ve been playing, and just reminding myself that I can play.”

“Everybody keeps looking at it as my contract year, and my need to perform,” Walker said. “But all that (talk) is just water running down my back. This is an opportunity right in front of me, and I’m ready for this weekend and I can’t wait.”

  • Mike Klis of mentions that Broncos’ CB A.J. Bouye will be out this week after sustaining a concussion from an accidental hit by teammate S Kareem Jackson.
  • The team will also be without DT Shelby Harris, who HC Vic Fangio says would have had a better chance of playing if the game took place on Monday night.


  • Daniel Popper of The Athletic theorizes that the Chargers’ believed in QB Justin Herbert all along and had expected him to be this good. Popper also notes that HC Anthony Lynn knew he would have to put his career in Herbert’s hands for better or for worse.
  • Popper spoke with Lynn about the extra responsibilities that rookie LB Kenneth Murray has had to take on and asked if the team could do more to play to Murray’s strengths: “Lately, we’ve been bringing him more on pressures and trying to get running backs to block him. We are trying to use him a little bit more downhill. But he is the MIKE linebacker. He is the captain of our defense. He’s got to learn the defense and all the calls and get people in the right positions and get himself in the right positions. So he’s got a lot on his plate for a rookie. But I think he’s handled it pretty well.”
  • Popper says that it is far too early to call S Nasir Adderley a bust, but wonders if the team would be better off benching him for more reliable options, including moving S Rayshawn Jenkins back to free safety and playing S Jahleel Addae at strong safety.
  • As for RB Austin Ekeler’s injury, Popper believes that it was far more severe than the average hamstring injury, which is the key reason for his extended absence.
  • Popper says that while Ekeler could be activated in Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins, it is unlikely and thinks that he will most likely return in Week 11 or 12.


  • The Chiefs have officially ruled out WR Sammy Watkins from Week 9. 
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