AFC Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Ravens

     

Broncos

  • According to Justin Rogers of DetroitNews.com, the Lions released RB Theo Riddick before the team began padded practices because of durability concerns.
  • Riddick signed with the Broncos but is now out six to eight weeks following a fractured shoulder in the preseason opener. 
  • Broncos TE Bug Howard is expected to return soon from an ankle injury. (Mike Klis)
  • The Broncos moved S Jamal Carter to inside linebacker as a temporary measure to bolster their depth, though the move could become permanent per HC Vic Fangio: “Right now it’s temporary, but if he looks good it will be permanent. It’s two-fold, our numbers have gotten low in there and he’s always wanted to play in there. The timing was good, he wants to be in there.” (Jeff Legwold)
  • Fangio expects LB Todd Davis (calf) to return to practice on a limited basis “fairly soon.”
  • Carter is all-in on the move from safety to linebacker: “It’s a great opportunity. I feel like I’m going to be Mark Barron 2.0.” (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • Fangio says fifth-round LB Justin Hollins is progressing well despite learning multiple positions, though he needs to become more physical: “I’ve seen good progression in that he’s learning two positions, which is hard. He’s showed he can run and has athletic ability. He’s just got to develop the love of hitting people like linebackers in this league have to have.” (O’Halloran)

Raiders

Raiders HC Jon Gruden said he and the team are still fully behind WR Antonio Brown despite the litany of controversial reports surrounding the star receiver. Brown has missed practice with frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy accident and is embroiled in a dispute with the NFL about having to change helmets from the model he’s worn his whole career. Brown has gone so far as to reportedly threaten to retire. 

“We’re gonna support him,” Gruden said via NFL Media’s Grant Gordon. “And whatever his decision is, we’ll stand by it. But we’re confident he’s going to be a huge factor for the Raiders for years to come.”

Gruden also questioned the accuracy of some of the reports concerning Brown. He called the cryotherapy incident an “accident” and a serious incident, while also saying the Raiders understand both Brown and the league’s position regarding the helmet. 

“I don’t know what anybody’s writing or anybody thinks, but this foot injury wasn’t his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn’t his fault and it’s a serious injury. I know some people are smarting at it, but it’s really not a laughing matter. The guy was hurt. He’s innocent, he didn’t do anything wrong,” said Gruden. “And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him. He has a strong feeling about what he’s worn on his head and we’re supporting him. We understand the league’s position as well, so we’re in a tough spot. And we hope Antonio is back here soon, because he’s exciting to be around. I’m excited. I got some plays for him, I hope we can start calling them.”

  • The Steelers sent Brown’s old helmet to the Raiders at the receiver’s request. The team repainted it even though it was non-conforming to NFL safety standards. (Gerry Dulac)
  • Raiders fourth-round DE Maxx Crosby broke his hand during the team’s preseason opener. (Vic Tafur)
  • Gruden says G Jordan Devey “is going to get the first crack” at replacing the injured Gabe Jackson at starting right guard. (Michael Gehlken)

Ravens

  • According to the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, the Ravens will likely use the roster spot freed by trading K Kaare Vedvik on another kicker, as the team doesn’t want starting K Justin Tucker playing in the fourth preseason game. 

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