AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


  • According to the NFLPA, the Broncos are one of eight teams to have their Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan approved by both the NFL and NFLPA. The other 24 are submitted and are being reviewed. 


  • The Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes the Chargers will need to replace four prominent special teams players — FB Derek Watt, S Adrian Phillips, WR Geremy Davis and LB Nick Dzubnar — from what rated as one of the worst units in the NFL in 2019 by Football Outsiders. 
  • Popper writes the health of Chargers C Mike Pouncey is a key item worth monitoring this summer, as he is coming back from a neck injury and is a key player who would be sorely missed if he couldn’t play. 
  • Popper lists a number of candidates for the Chargers’ No. 3 receiver, starting with WR Andre Patton and also including fifth-round WR Joe Reed, seventh-round WR K.J. Hill and Jason Moore
  • Popper believes Chargers EDGE Uchenna Nwosu is a star in the making and is curious to see how the team tries to get him on the field more in 2020. 
  • Popper thinks Chargers CB Brandon Facyson will push projected starting No. 2 CB Michael Davis hard for his spot. 
  • Chargers fourth-round RB Joshua Kelley has a real opportunity to make an impact as a change-of-pace back behind Austin Ekeler, per Popper. 
  • With starting G Dan Feeney entering the final year of his rookie deal and a candidate to move to center, Popper raises the possibility of the Chargers moving OT Trent Scott to guard to groom him to take over. 


Former Raiders owner Al Davis was infamously obsessed with speed when he was in charge of the team. It had some downsides, as the plethora of players he drafted for their 40 time alone would attest, but it also helped mold the team into a championship organization back in its heyday with stars like WR Cliff Branch. His son, current Raiders owner Mark Davis, wants to return to those values as the team starts its first year in Las Vegas, and he zeroed in on first-round WR Henry Ruggs III as the person to help do it. 

“Henry Ruggs was the player I wanted for the last six months,” Davis said via the Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “My dad was always trying to replace Cliff with so many different types of guys. … Speed, speed, speed and we really got away from that the last five, six, seven years. We really didn’t have anybody that could run. Nobody could run.

“I watched Henry Ruggs and his speed and quickness and his strength were pretty impressive. And then if you see his baseball highlights, my God. He made some nice tackles on interceptions and he’ll block too. He is a complete player. I was just so thrilled that we drafted him. Maybe that’s the piece that we haven’t had that’s Raiders football. You throw it deep the first play and the safety is worried the whole game.”

Ruggs is the only projected new starter for the Raiders on offense in 2020. Davis believes that continuity will benefit QB Derek Carr, who also enters his third year in HC Jon Gruden‘s system, even as Las Vegas continued to flirt with other quarterbacks and signed QB Marcus Mariota as a backup. 

“There was so much talk this offseason about other quarterbacks and things of that nature, and having Derek come back and the continuity he brings with how little time that players have to work together is probably a positive thing,” Davis said.

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