AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders



Monday wasn’t your average preseason game for Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders. It marked Sanders’ first game action since he tore his Achilles in practice last December during the regular season, and he’s spent the past eight-and-a-half months working overdrive to return. Sanders compared his feelings before kickoff to those before the Broncos Super Bowl 50 win. 

“It’s up there, it’s up there,” Sanders said via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “To be able to come back and feel how I feel and feel better, still be able to hang out with these 24-year-old kids and still be able to run with them, it’s amazing. I don’t take anything for granted.”

  • Broncos second-round QB Drew Lock left Monday night’s preseason game after injuring his hand, but Lock said the injury was “just a little sprain” and X-rays were negative. (Aric DiLalla)
  • A later MRI showed Lock’s sprain was more serious than initially thought, however. The rookie will likely miss some time, though he won’t need surgery. (Ian Rapoport)
  • Broncos first-round TE Noah Fant also left during the first quarter of the game following a foot injury HC Vic Fangio called “mild in nature.” 
  • Mike Klis reports that Fant has a “minor” ankle sprain and is considered “day to day.
  • According to Klis, rookie LB Joe Dineen is scheduled for surgery on Thursday to repair broken fourth metacarpal in his right hand.


  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chargers and RB Melvin Gordon remain millions apart in their contract negotiations. 
  • Gordon is seeking $13 million per season, while the Chargers’ highest offer is closer to $10 million per season, though they’ve tried to bridge the gap with incentives. 
  • Gordon maintains he’s willing to sit out without a new deal but he wants to play: “Just waiting on the call.”
  • The Athletic’s Daniel Popper says cap space this year isn’t an issue for the Chargers, as they have $10 million in available space and just released LS Mike Windt to save another million or so.
  • The team is trying to be conscious of the cap in future years, however, with new deals for DE Joey Bosa, QB Philip Rivers and TE Hunter Henry on the table following 2019 and DE Melvin Ingram and WR Keenan Allen in 2020.


Raiders HC Jon Gruden said WR Antonio Brown practiced in a certified helmet on Tuesday.

“We also understand the league’s position, but I’m confident that he’s going to be one heck of a player for us, and that he’s ready to roll,” Gruden said, per Scott Bair. “This grievance thing is no laughing matter. It’s something that is really important to him. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your players on things that they believe in.”

  • Ian Rapoport reports that Brown’s next arbitration hearing is likely to be Friday.
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