AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs


  • New Broncos LB Joe Schobert wanted the team to sign him because he had moved to the area and bought a home, passing up offers from other teams until Denver signed him. (Vic Lombardi)
  • Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett revealed G Netane Muti recently had arthroscopic knee surgery, with no timetable provided for his return at this point. (Mike Klis)
  • Klis reports the surgery will have a recovery time of three to four weeks, meaning that Muti could be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
  • The Broncos and OLB Randy Gregory both agreed he should get shoulder surgery back in March to repair an issue that has hindered him for the past few seasons, with Gregory saying: “As far as the shoulder it was something I’ve been dealing with for two, maybe three years now. It got to the point where it was kind of hindering my play so definitely it was something important to do long-term. Still working through some kinks but ready to go.” (Klis)


  • Per Jordan Schultz, the Chargers are elated so far with what they’ve seen from first-round G Zion Johnson during camp: “He’s already a total pro. Does everything right, shows up and works. Very smart too. Reminds me of what we saw last year with Rashawn [Slater]. Zion’s gonna be a great player for us.”
  • The Athletic’s Daniel Popper thought Chargers RB Joshua Kelley had the best performance in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Rams and may have pulled into the lead for the No. 2 running back job. 
  • He added fourth-round RB Isaiah Spiller also looked solid, just not as good as Kelley. 


New Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is having a blast so far in Kansas City. He earned a reputation as a slot-only receiver during his five years in Pittsburgh, but much to his delight Kansas City hasn’t relegated him to that specific of a role. 

“It’s been fun, man, I’ll tell you that,” Smith-Schuster said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “This is what I’ve been waiting to do. Everyone has to know everybody’s position. You have to know the outside, inside. You could play anywhere. To be on so many personnel groups where we got so many great receivers who could play inside and outside, I love it. That’s what I’ve been wanting to do, to be used in so many different ways. It’s so great, the way Coach Reid gives Patrick Mahomes so many different options on every play.”

Smith-Schuster is one of a number of players the Chiefs brought in to replace the one-of-a-kind WR Tyreek Hill. Some quarterbacks might be upset with the team for getting rid of such an elite weapon but Mahomes sounds like he’s on board. 

“They showed me the plan,” Mahomes said. “They showed me the reasons that this had to be done at this time. I obviously talked to Tyreek as well, tried to do whatever I could to bring him back. Once we kind of got past that bridge and he was going somewhere else, they had a great game plan of getting these receivers that we have out here now. Kind of keep this thing moving forward.”

Mahomes acknowledged that without Hill he’ll feel more willing to spread the ball around to all of the different weapons the Chiefs have added, which should make them dangerous in a different way. 

“When you have a guy as special as Tyreek when you get any type of man coverage, you’re kind of saying forget the read, I’m going to get this guy a chance to go out there and make a play,” he said. “Now, the thing is, you don’t know where that go-to guy’s going to be every single game. We’ll have a lot of different personnel [groups], a lot of different receivers, and tight ends and running backs on the field. It’s going to be hard for defenses to gameplan against.”

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