AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


  • Per Adam Schefter, Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders will start Monday night’s preseason game against the 49ers. 
  • It marks Sanders first return to game action since tearing his Achilles in practice last December. 


Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, who is close to five weeks into his holdout, tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that he is training “rigorously” in California right now and staying ready to play football.

Gordon added that he wants to play but continues to wait for a resolution in his contract dispute with the team. 

“Just waiting on the call,” Gordon said.

  • Chargers S Derwin James will have surgery on his foot Thursday to remove a screw he previously had inserted in his foot, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. James is still expected back to the field in three to four months. 
  • According to the Athletic’s Daniel Popper, Chargers LB Kyzir White is playing well enough that the team might not take him off the field once the regular season starts despite a deep rotation at linebacker. 
  • Chargers LB Denzel Perryman played with the third and fourth stringers on Sunday, but the team says it was just to knock the rust off for Perryman.
  • Popper mentions that the Chargers need to find a more reliable backup offensive tackle than third-round rookie Trey Pipkins. Los Angeles could use either OL Spencer Drango in that spot or find another option following final cuts. 
  • Popper believes P Ty Long has won the starting job ahead of P Tyler Newsome.
  • Popper also says RB Troymaine Pope has made the competition for the No. 3 running back slot with Detrez Newsome interesting. 


After a ruling by an independent arbitrator seemingly ended the helmet saga with Raiders WR Antonio Brown, the issue cropped up again Monday with the news that Brown still wasn’t practicing and had again left the Raiders. Brown had found a newer model of his preferred helmet, but it did not pass the NFL’s safety test. Raiders GM Mike Mayock released a statement Monday afternoon saying the team was ready for Brown to be all in or all out, however earlier in the day he acknowledged Brown’s talent and work ethic — when he’s around — had given him some latitude to that point. 

“Unfortunately there is a sliding scale—the more talent a guy has, the more opportunities he’s going to get,” Mayock said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “But in the case of Antonio, Jon [Gruden] and I both had the advantage of being in the media and seeing Brown up-close over the years and seeing him practice as hard as anyone we’ve seen. We felt like and still feel like when he’s on the field he’s the best receiver in football. We support him and we’re behind him.”

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Brown still has two helmet models, made in 2010 and 2014, that are being tested for potential use. 

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