AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs

     

Broncos

Denver’s infamous for how the altitude can impact the visiting team, particularly in early-season games. But there’s also an acclimation period for new players and new Broncos RB Melvin Gordon has been hit hard with the change in elevation from Los Angeles to Denver. 

“I’m struggling a little bit, I’m struggling a little bit up here with the altitude,” Gordon said via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “What I keep hearing is when we play other places, we won’t even get tired so I’m looking forward to that. . . . Right now it’s tough, trying to finish downfield, and things like that. It’s real dry, I’m trying to drink water every second, lips is dry. That’s the biggest adjustment, working all offseason and coming here and still feeling like you’re not in shape because of the altitude.”

  • Per Denver 7’s Troy Renck, Broncos HC Vic Fangio said it’s too early to determine who the starting center will be between Patrick Morris, Austin Schlottmann and third-round rookie Lloyd Cushenberry.
  • Cushenberry has worked with the second team the past few days, while Morris and Schlottmann have each taken first-team reps. 
  • Fangio noted Broncos TE Austin Fort is out 4-8 weeks following his knee scope. Broncos WR Juwann Winfree is day-to-day with a groin injury. (Mike Klis)

Chargers

Chargers HC Anthony Lynn confirmed what the team’s actions this offseason have made clear: Tyrod Taylor will enter the 2020 season as the team’s starting quarterback. Taylor will work as the clear starter ahead of first-round QB Justin Herbert, which admittedly is similar to two years ago when Taylor started ahead of Browns No. 1 overall QB Baker Mayfield before giving way after just a few games. Lynn wouldn’t rule out Herbert taking over eventually but said he’ll need to beat out Taylor. 

“I don’t think we need to tell the team who the quarterback’s gonna be,” Lynn said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I think right now, Tyrod Taylor’s our quarterback. And if Justin goes through camp and does something to change our mind, that’s great. That means we’d have a really good quarterback competition. But without being here for the offseason, without having any of those practices, that sets a quarterback back.

“Justin’s a very intelligent young man, I’m very pleased where he’s at with his football IQ. I’m not gonna shortchange him. I’m never gonna say what you can’t do. But right now, this football team knows Tyrod Taylor’s our quarterback. And if someone wants to step up and knock him off the pedestal, then that’s great.”

  • Per NFL Media’s Steve Wyche, Lynn noted Chargers DE Melvin Ingram is with the team but did not practice again like on Friday. Lynn declined to talk specifics: “He’s in meetings, walkthroughs, individual. What he does on the practice field we will see later. This is company business.”
  • The Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes Lynn was willing to discuss injury issues with other players, so his hesitancy could mean the issue with Ingram is contract related. The veteran is in the final year of his contract. 
  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen is also entering the final year of his contract but isn’t pushing the issue: “That would be nice, but I ain’t tripping.” (Popper)

Chiefs

  • Per ESPN’s Adam Teicher, Chiefs TE Ricky Seals-Jones had to be carted from practice with an apparent leg injury. 
  • Chiefs first-round RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire was back at practice after being limited Sunday. 
  • Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo says the team is preparing to lose DL Mike Pennel to a suspension for part of the season. Pennel is currently going through the appeals process. (Nate Taylor)
  • Chiefs second-round LB Willie Gay says he’s learning the SAM linebacker position behind Damien Wilson. (Taylor)
  • Chiefs worked out DB Kemon Hall, WR Marcus Kemp and DB Brandon Williams, according to Albert Breer.
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