AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions there was some chatter last year connecting the Broncos to Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald because of his relationship with GM George Paton. However, Breer says his sense is the Broncos would go with an offensive coach if they move on from HC Vic Fangio at the end of this year. 
  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said the following players did not participate in Wednesday’s practice: RB Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder), G Dalton Risner (ankle), TE Eric Saubert (leg), DE Shelby Harris (ankle). (Mike Klis)
  • The Broncos hosted S Adrian Colbert for a visit on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)


Chargers S Derwin James believes the AFC is “still wide open” for playoff contention. 

“The AFC is still wide open,” James said, via Jeff Miller of the LA Times. “Everybody pretty much in the AFC’s got the same record as us. I mean, it’s still open.”

Chargers HC Brandon Staley feels it’s “good to be mindful” of the standings in order to get the performances they expect. 

“I think that it’s always good to be mindful of that so that you can have the type of preparation and performance that we expect and not get caught up in things that aren’t important,” said Staley. 

Staley called their Week 13 game against the Bengals a “big game” given Cincinnati is ahead of them in the AFC standings. 

“We have a lot in front of us, and when I say a lot in front of us, we have Cincinnati in front of us. And it’s a big game because they’re ahead of us in the AFC.”

Staley acknowledged their 28-13 loss to the Broncos in Week 12 and thinks they must turn focus to Sunday’s game against the Bengals. 

“When you lose a tough one, like [Sunday], you’re going to leave the stadium and you’re going to get on the plane and it’s gonna eat at you,” Staley said. “It’s going to crush you in a way. But that’s why competition is great. And then, as a competitor, you have to be able to separate that feeling from the reality of today, which is we’ve got to move on and we’ve got to move on together.”


  • Chiefs HC Andy Reid said they will observe RT Lucas Niang (rib) in practice this week before determining his availability.  (Herbie Teope)
  • Reis added OT Andrew Wylie “has done a great job” filling in for Niang, which suggests Niang might not return as a starter. 
  • Reid said CB Rashad Fenton (knee), WR Mecole Hardman (not injury related) and WR Tyreek Hill (not injury related) did not practice on Wednesday. (Nate Taylor)
  • When asked if he’s considered retiring, Reid said he’s still enjoying his time in the league: “I’m still enjoying it. I think that’s the most important thing and the players don’t look at me like I’m their grandfather and they still listen. You get to a point I guess where that starts happening.” (Mike Klis)


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