AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs


Broncos GM John Elway praised QB Brandon Allen‘s performance in Week 11’s game against the Vikings. 

He played like he was a six-year vet, made some big plays for us and ran the ball, and made some plays with his legs too. So Brandon did a nice job,” via the Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala

  • The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia lists Broncos CB Chris Harris as one of his top-50 potentially available free agents in 2020.
  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said OT Ja’Wuan James and TE Jeff Heuerman are both “truly 50-50” to play this week with knee injuries. (Jhabvala)
  • Fangio added all three of Denver’s interior offensive line starters — C Connor McGovern, G Ronald Leary and G Dalton Risner — would not practice Wednesday but he anticipated all playing Sunday against the Bills. (Jeff Legwold)
  • Fangio also mentioned that it wouldn’t be “vitally important” for Denver to get second-round rookie QB Drew Lock some live-game reps to evaluate him this season: “You can get a false positive. You can get a false negative. You need a whole body of work, including offseason and training camp, to build up.” (Pro Football Talk)


Chargers QB Philip Rivers has seven interceptions in his past two games, both losses to divisional rivals ahead of Los Angeles in the standings. The turnovers have arguably cost the team a chance to move up in the standings and toward a playoff berth but Chargers HC Anthony Lynn said he’s not considering a quarterback change. 

“I’m not going to entertain that right now,” Lynn said via Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register. “I’m going to evaluate everything, and right now Philip Rivers is our starting quarterback. But I’m not going to single one position out. I’m looking at everybody. We’re 4-7. Everybody can be doing something better.”

Meanwhile reinforcements seem to be imminent for the Chargers, as S Derwin James says he is close to returning from a broken foot that landed him on injured reserve earlier this year. James and the Chargers appear to be targeting Week 13 against the Broncos for a return after the team’s bye this week. 

“I’m feeling well, feeling better, getting better every day,” James said in an interview with NFL Network’s Lindsay Rhodes. “Just taking it day-by-day. It’s real close, real soon. I can say that. So just taking it day-by-day. Working hard to get back out there.”

Lynn said the plan is for James to play this season regardless of their record and made clear that Los Angeles is “not tanking.” 

If we got healthy players as good as DJ, if he can play, he’s gonna play … We’re not tanking, guys. We’re 4-7. Last time I checked we have five games left,” said Lynn, via Gilbert Manzano.


Chiefs DE Frank Clark‘s first season has not gone quite as he likely imagined when he was traded to Kansas City from the Seahawks. Clark has played through a pinched nerve and his sack on Monday night was only his fifth of the season. However, Clark said he’s not worried about production to this point and is confident the sacks will come in time. 

“I’m a pro,” Clark said via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “I know everything isn’t going to be in my favor all the time. I know that opens up doors for other people. They’ve got to make the play when it’s there. I know what I bring. I know what I bring to the table. I know what other teams are going to do. They can keep it coming. I’m going to keep it coming too.”

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill‘s hamstring injury is considered minor and it’s possible he doesn’t miss any time with the team’s bye this week. 
  • The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia lists Chiefs DT Chris Jones on his top-50 potentially available free agents in 2020.

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