AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders



Broncos GM John Elway said the organization felt it was in their best interest to trade WR Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers due to the value they were being offered. 

I think eventually with what happened after the Tennessee game [a 16-0 victory] and where we were and with the value we were getting for him, we decided it was the best thing for our team to trade Emmanuel,” Elway said, via ProFootballTalk

Elway went on to praise Sanders for his contributions to the Broncos after finishing among Denver’s all-time best in receptions, receiving yards, and 100-yard games. 

He did a nice job for us,” Elway said. “Emmanuel had a lot of catches and played hard. He was a competitive guy. He did a good job while he was here. We thought it was the best move again for us as well as for Emmanuel. Emmanuel was very good for the 5 1/2 years that he was here.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says the Eagles want Broncos CB Chris Harris “badly” and he’s one of the few “pseudo-locks” to get traded this week. 
  • Per KUSA’s Mike Klis, Broncos HC Vic Fangio says WR Tim Patrick will likely be the first of four players on injured reserve to return to practice next week. 
  • Fangio mentions Broncos CB Bryce Callahan could miss the rest of the season. Callahan underwent a stem cell procedure on his foot last month that the original projection for a return was 4-6 weeks. (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Callahan had offseason surgery for a broken foot, then re-aggravated the injury during the preseason and has yet to play. While Fangio says he’s progressing, he adds it would take time for Callahan to get back into football shape. 
  • Fangio added that all three of Broncos OTs Ja’Wuan James, Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson would play this week, with James still working back into game shape following an injury and Bolles struggling. (Jeff Legwold)


Chargers RB Melvin Gordon‘s return to the team after an extended holdout in search of a new deal has not gone well. Since returning in Week 5, Gordon has touched the ball 45 times for only 115 yards. His fumble at the goal line also cost the team a win Sunday against the Titans. Gordon acknowledged missing all of training camp, the preseason and the first four games of the season have left him behind. 

“We’ve just got to play better as a group. Just me, I could be a lot better,” Gordon said via Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “You can’t emulate the game, game day. I don’t care how many reps you do on a high school football field it can never compare to what you get on game day. So I knew coming in, just the game speed and things like that, to get my feet wet a little bit, I knew it would take some time.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman mentions that while the chances are low the Chargers would pull the trigger, teams could make another run at trading for Gordon. 
  • Chargers LT Russell Okung will return to play this week, per HC Anthony Lynn. (Daniel Popper)
  • Because Okung will be working himself back into game shape, OT Trent Scott is still expected to play a large role. (Popper)



Heading into this season, the Raiders made major additions to their receiving corps to offset the loss of TE Jared Cook, who was Oakland’s leading receiver last season. But after injuries, it’s the tight ends once again who are leading th way on offense. Breakout Raiders TE Darren Waller broke team records set by Jerry Rice and Tim Brown for the most receptions in the first six games with 44, while HC Jon Gruden called the tight end room led by Waller the “lifeblood of our offense.”

“Waller is not a tight end, he’s a football player,” Gruden said via ESPN’s Paul Gutierezz. “You can line him up anywhere. He lined up in multiple places. So did (Foster) Moreau and (Derek) Carrier. They can line up in line and they love playing physical football. They can line up and play the finesse game. They’re really smart and supportive of one another. They have no egos, they’re great guys. I couldn’t be happier with the tight ends.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman writes the Raiders are one of the few teams interested in Falcons DE Vic Beasley.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports the Raiders are one of several teams still interested in potentially trading for receiver help.
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