AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • According to the Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, the Broncos could choose to cut RB Theo Riddick despite giving him $1 million guaranteed because his injury status makes for tough decisions at running back. 
  • Jhabvala says RB Devontae Booker has looked good in the pass-catching back role and keeping Riddick might cost Booker a spot. 
  • Before his injury, Broncos first-round TE Noah Fant looking like he was “swimming” as he adjusted to the NFL, per Jhabvala.
  • Jhabvala mentions the Broncos could look outside the organization for a return specialist. 

Chiefs

Chiefs WR De’Anthony Thomas didn’t miss a beat after re-signing in Kansas City, stepping in mid-practice and catching a long touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes. Thomas is well-versed in the playbook as he enters his sixth year with the Chiefs. While he faces a potential suspension for marijuana possession, he provides valuable depth on offense and special teams following the season-ending injury to WR Marcus Kemp

“When Kemp went down, obviously there was a hole there, and he kind of fills that hole for us,” Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub said via the Athletic’s Nate Taylor. “He plays a lot of the same positions. A different type of guy, more of a speed guy. He brings a lot to the table for us. It’s good to see that he’s healthy, and he looks good out there right now.”

The Chiefs plan for CB Morris Claiborne to make his debut in the third preseason game. DC Steve Spagnuolo says the team is trying to balance getting Claiborne reps while not taking away from the other first-teamers who will play during Claiborne’s four-game suspension.

“He’s a pro, and he knows how to handle things, and we’re trying to get as many reps in there as he can,” Spagnuolo said. “It’s a balancing act because he doesn’t play for the first four games. But he’s been a real pro about it.”

Raiders

Raiders WR Antonio Browns agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said his client is “determined” to play this season regardless of his issues with the NFL’s equipment policy regarding his helmet. 

That’s correct,” Rosenhaus said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports. “…He is determined to play this year, and what we’re trying to do is get him in the safest equipment possible. He believes, and we believe that the helmet he has worn for nine years – he’s had unparalleled production throughout those nine years – that it’s imperative for us to continue with that helmet because that it is what has kept him safe.”

Rosenhaus reiterated that Brown understands the new rules but remains adamant to play with his own helmet. 

We understand these new rules. We hear on the testing and we’re not disputing it. That may be great for every other player, but this is something that has worked so well for him and we want to maintain that consistency and that safety.”

Rosenhaus said he will continue to exhaust the league’s equipment process but Brown will play with an approved helmet in the end. 

We’ll exhaust that process but, if it doesn’t work out, so be it,” Rosenhaus said. “At least we can say we tried everything possible, and he’ll move forward and make it work with an approved helmet.”

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