AFC Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Chargers

Chargers WR Keenan Allen said continuing his 62 regular-season game consecutive start streak is very important to him after being limited heading into last week’s game with his lingering hamstring issue. 

It’s very important,” Allen said, via Gilbert Manzano of the OC Register. “That’s why I just keep getting out there, trying to fight. Trying to fight through the injury. Just try to keep it going.”

Allen confirmed that he feels fine about playing in Week 16 but is taking things day-to-day this wee, 

I feel OK,” Allen said. “(We’re) going day-by-day with it.”

Allen admitted that he felt more pressure to perform at the start of the season after signing a four-year, $80 million extension in the offseason. 

“I did initially,” said Allen. “When the season started it felt like you gotta come up with it. You gotta perform for sure. After a couple weeks, I just kept doing what I was doing.”

Although Chargers HC Anthony Lynn wants veteran QB Tyrod Taylor to return for 2021, he’d also like the quarterback to get an opportunity to start elsewhere. 

“I would love for him to get that opportunity,” Lynn said. “Hell, I hope he stays here with us.”

Chiefs

With Chiefs first-round RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire out until at least the playoffs with a gnarly-looking injury he picked up this past Sunday, it’ll fall to RB Le’Veon Bell to carry the load for the rest of the regular season. While Bell hasn’t been particularly incendiary since signing with Kansas City, his resume has his teammates confident. 

“He’s had success everywhere he’s been,” Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes said via the team website. “He’s been a top running back for a long time now and I think he fits into our locker room really, really well. He’s done a great job in the amount of snaps that he’s gotten so far, and I’m sure that he’ll continue to do better and better as he gets more and more snaps.”

Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy is confident that RB Le’Veon Bell is ready to handle the workload with Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined due to injury. 

“Le’Veon Bell has played in this league long enough to know football,” Bieniemy said, via ArrowheadPride.com. “Now he may be learning a different language — in a sense — but when it’s all said and done, football is football. He’ll be able to connect the two dots if that language doesn’t quite snap in. I’m not concerned with Le’Veon at all. Like I said… the next man is up.

“He’s smart,” Bieniemy added. “He’s intelligent. He takes the game home. He’s a football junkie. He just gets it. And that’s the thing that I love about him: just his football intellect. And on top of that, he’s always asking questions — because he wants to know exactly what to do and how to do it the right way.

Raiders

While the Raiders’ playoff hopes have been sapped, but CB Trayvon Mullen they are attempting to stay focus and finish the season on a positive note by defeating the Dolphins.

“Finishing is the biggest thing for us right now,” Mullen said, via Tashan Reed of The Athletic. “We don’t want to finish losing. We gotta show who we are. We gotta show how tough we are. We gotta show that no matter the circumstance or the outcome or whatever it is that we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna play hard. We’re gonna finish.”

  • According to Reed, Raiders’ HC Jon Gruden would not name a starter between QB Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota but said he was “optimistic” that Carr would be ready to go: “I am not going to let the cat out of the bag here…we wanna make sure he’s OK… both quarterbacks have prepared to play.” 
  • Raiders’ DE Clelin Ferrell, S Johnathan Abram, and CB Damon Arnette all returned to practice this week and could be available for the game, according to Reed.
  • Raiders’ DB coach Jim O’Neil is also not going to be with the team after he was added to the COVID-19 list. (Paul Gutierrez)

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