AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos’ HC Vic Fangio says OLB Von Miller should be ready for the start of training camp after being sidelined for the entire 2020 season with dislocated ankle ligaments.

“It was something that we thought would heal in time,” Fangio said, via Aric DiLalla of “Through his workouts, he would have days where he would feel it, and some days where he wouldn’t. They went in there and checked it out and had a very good procedure. I think he had some bone spurs that were aggravating the injury and aggravating him some days. We were able to get that taken care of and it was good news. They thought the operation would have kept him out until the middle of August, but it was so much of a success and they didn’t find that much damage in there. I think he’ll be ready by the start of camp now.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes new Broncos director of football operations Kelly Kleine was described as the “glue” of the Vikings’ scouting department for her versatility to take on a number of different tasks and execute them all at a high level.
  • If former Broncos OT Ja’Wuan James files a grievance against the team, as he’s expected to do, per the new CBA 40 percent ($3.94 million) of the $9.85 million Denver is set to save from releasing James will remain as a cap charge until the grievance is resolved. (Joel Corry)
  • Broncos seventh-round LB Jonathon Cooper is being held back from traveling to Denver by his doctors, who are taking precautions following his ablation heart procedure. (Mike Klis)
  • The Broncos’ goal for Cooper is to have him healthy and ready for the start of training camp.


Chargers HC Brandon Staley said S Derwin James is able to participate in OTAs.

“He is clear for full participation, which is a real credit to our sports performance team, his performance team and himself,” Staley said, via’s Nick Shook. “He looks great. He sounds great, as you know. One of his strengths as a football player is his leadership, and that energy that he gives everybody each and every day. You can see that he is a multiplayer out there. I mean, from the minute that I got hired — guys, I met this guy at my press conference and I felt better about our chances. When he’s out there, our chances increase by a whole bunch. He’s ready to play.”

James himself acknowledged how much practice he needs after missing so much time and that staying away from OTAs wasn’t really a consideration. 

“I need my practice,” James said via Gilbert Manzano of the Los Angeles Daily News. “I can’t sit up here and say I can just go out here and play a perfect game. I need my practice reps. I cannot play this game and not practice, so I need my reps. I can’t simulate a game on how I’m going to be able to make the tackle, so I need to be out there in practice to make the tackle, to make the play or show myself that I can put myself in position to make the plays that I know I can make. I’m not really looking at it as [trying to avoid injuries]. Of course, I can be smarter here and there, but I’m here to play football.”

Staley was also impressed by QB Justin Herbert‘s early work in OTAs.

“Justin’s a big part of the operation in terms of his command in and out of the huddle and I think that’s going to be a hallmark of how we play . . . I thought he was really impressive,” Staley said via Hayley Elwood of the team website. “There was one [play] in particular that I felt like really demonstrates that he’s got the capacity that you guys are all aware of from an identification standpoint of something we do defensively that we feel like is tough to pick up, and he picked it up practice No. 1. He’s off and running.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out the Chargers are one of just four teams that have the cap space to trade for Falcons WR Julio Jones.
  • WR Keenan Allen said he is excited about the new coaching staff: “I feel good about coach Staley … I feel like he knows the game well. Love the way he talks.” (Gilbert Manzano)
  • According to Allen, new OC Joe Lombardi‘s offense is similar to the offense the team ran last year, just not as strict. (Omar Ruiz)


  • ESPN’s Field Yates reports the Raiders also put in a claim for OT Geron Christian, but the Texans had higher priority.
  • Raiders WR Dillon Stoner is excited to put the Raiders jersey on: “It still hasn’t sunk in. I don’t know when it will. I am still kind of walking around in a dream.” (Vic Tafur)

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