AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders



Broncos HC Vic Fangio said TE Jake Butt (ACL) had a minor setback and is currently day-to-day. 

“It’s more of what you’d expect. He’s hit a little pothole here in his road to recovery, but I don’t think that it’s anything too, too serious at this point,” said Fangio, via Nicki Jhabvala. “He could be out here tomorrow or he could be another day or two.” 

Fangio said they haven’t determined their playing time for the upcoming Hall of Fame game on August 1 against the Falcons. 

There could be some starters that get playing time, but to be honest with you, we haven’t really discussed it yet,” said Fangio, via Nicki Jhabvala.

  • Per Nicki Jhabvala of the Athletic, Broncos TE Bug Howard went down during practice with an ankle injury and had to be carted off. 
  • Per Mike Klis, the X-ray for Howard was “encouraging.” 


Chargers GM Tom Telesco said he understands why RB Melvin Gordon is holding out for a new contract but does not agree with it. 

I understand his thoughts and opinions of what he’s going through. I always look at the player’s side, so I can see it. It doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I can kind of see what his thought process is,” said Telesco, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN

Although Telesco admitted that the Chargers are better with Gordon, he believes they have a “strong group” of running backs. 

I’m not naïve: I know we’re better with Melvin Gordon,” Telesco said. “But we’ve got a strong group of guys that are here, and it’s their time to work and get ready to go.”

  • Per ESPN’s Eric Williams, Chargers GM Tom Telesco says the team has had private talks with TE Antonio Gates about his status with the organization. 
  • Williams doesn’t believe Gates will return for another season with the team. 
  • Regarding Chargers’ veteran QB Philip Rivers‘ expiring contract, Telesco said there is “no update” on his situation. (Daniel Popper)
  • First-round DL Jerry Tillery, who underwent shoulder surgery in March, has been cleared to practice, Tom Telesco said. But the defensive tackle won’t be a full participant just yet: “We’ll gradually work him in.” (Popper)
  • Telesco is hopeful LB Jatavis Brown will return from the PUP list at some point during training camp. (Williams)
  • Chargers second-round S Nasir Adderley is full go after missing minicamp with a hamstring injury. (Williams)
  • Chargers FB Derek Watt will be limited to start camp. (Williams)
  • The Chargers are expected to rotate OTs Trent Scott and Sam Tevi between left tackle and right tackle in the absence of Russell Okung. (Daniel Popper)


Chiefs TE Travis Kelce got in his first practice time since having offseason surgery to clean up his ankle. Kelce says he played with the injury all last season, and while it obviously didn’t hinder the Pro Bowl tight end too much, he says it feels good to have it taken care of. 

“I wouldn’t say it bothered me to the point where it hindered my game,” Kelce said via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “It was just something that was nagging. Really Monday and Tuesday was where it really got me the most. And sometimes here and there, I would roll the ankle because of how loose the joint was. Other than that, I was just playing through it.”

  • Matt Verderame reports that the Chiefs have not yet set up a meeting with free-agent DL Mike Daniels after reportedly expressing interest in him. 
  • According to Verderame, the Chiefs are “not ruling anything out” at this point and Daniels is expected to “sign quickly” with a team. 
  • Kansas City, the Browns, and Patriots have been reported as teams interested in acquiring Daniels. 


  • Ian Rapoport reports that Raiders FB Keith Smith suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss “a few weeks” to begin training camp.  
  • Rapoport adds that the Raiders may sign a fullback as Smith recovers from his injury. 
  • Per the Athletic’s Jimmy Durkin, Smith said on his Instagram he underwent successful surgery on his meniscus for a minor issue: “Nothing too too serious that will keep me out for too long!”
  • Scott Bair of NBC Sports writes that Raiders TE Darren Waller will be “heavily involved” in the passing game this season. 
  • According to Bair, Raiders’ fourth-round TE Foster Moreau is the “frontrunner” as the team’s lead blocking tight end after TEs coach Frank Smithvouched hard” for him this offseason. 
  • Bair also mentions that TEs Derek Carrier, Luke Willson, Paul Butler, and Erik Swoope are “in the mix” for playing time. 
  • Bair lists Waller, Moreau, and Carrier as the Raiders’ top three tight ends right now. 
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