AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


  • Per Denver 7’s Troy Renck, Broncos TE Nick Vannett is in the concussion protocol. Broncos DE Bradley Chubb was given a rest day Wednesday, TE Noah Fant was held out with an illness and CB Davontae Harris was held out with a bruised knee. 
  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said second-round WR KJ Hamler will miss a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. He added LB Von Miller (elbow) and RB Melvin Gordon (ribs) also were dinged up. (Mike Klis)
  • Broncos LB Todd Davis had to be carted off from practice on Thursday. (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • Davis missed two games with a calf injury last year and appeared to suffer another significant calf injury on Thursday. (Klis)
  • Broncos LT Garett Bolles is looking to respond to the challenge of having his fifth-year option declined: “I know if I play my best football, I will be here for a long time.” (Renck)


  • Per the Athletic’s Daniel Popper, Chargers DE Melvin Ingram returned to practice Thursday. Ingram had been “holding in” for a contract adjustment. 
  • The Chargers appear to prefer backup OL Storm Norton as a right tackle exclusively. Chargers OL Trent Scott rotated in at right guard. (Popper)
  • Chargers HC Anthony Lynn said the team values 2019 first-round DL Jerry Tillery‘s versatility, as he’s worked both at strongside defensive end and three-technique defensive tackle: “He has the versatility to do that. … Just moving him around a little bit. We need guys that can play multiple positions. You never know what’s going to happen this year. And so he’s built to do both. I thought he did a really good job playing end, to be honest with you.”
  • Chargers TE Hunter Henry definitely noticed the movement on the market at his position this summer given he’s set to be a free agent next offseason: “I love it, man, super excited for those guys. They definitely deserve it. And I think our position deserves it.” (Jeff Miller)


The Raiders made it a point to go overboard making additions to the offense this offseason. In free agency, the team added QB Marcus Mariota, TE Jason Witten and WR Nelson Agholor. In the draft, the team scooped up WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards as well as WR-to-RB convert Lynn Bowden. When combined with holdovers like QB Derek Carr, RB Josh Jacobs, TE Darren Waller, WR Tyrell Williams, RB Jalen Richard and WR Hunter Renfrow, the goal was to give HC Jon Gruden all the toys he could want on offense. 

“The opportunities are limitless,” Carr said via the Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “I think that’s what Coach Gruden wanted. He just wanted a whole bunch of different versatile guys that he can call this or he can call that. . . . He’s going to make sure that he’s going to stress you out with every ability that we have. . . . I think that was Coach Gruden’s dream when he got here . . . to get to a place where we can do whatever we want on offense. We can run the triple-option if we want, so I think we’re going to do that in Carolina.”

  • According to Tafur, he hasn’t heard anything recently about the Raiders being interested in a trade for Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue.
  • The Athletic’s Tashan Reed notes some growing pains should be expected on defense, but if there’s not marked improvement on that side of the ball then Raiders DC Paul Guenther could find himself on the hot seat. 
  • Reed believes Williams, Ruggs and Renfrow are still the starters in three-receiver sets but Ruggs could play some in the slot. 
  • Reed notes Raiders DE Arden Key has seized hold of the fourth spot in the team’s defensive end depth chart. 
  • New Raiders DT Maliek Collins has shed weight to drop from 325 pounds to 303 pounds as he prepares to meet Gruden and DL coach Rod Marinelli‘s challenge of being “the key” to the defense. (Tafur

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