AFC West Notes: Chargers, Patriots, Raiders

     

Chargers

  • Per the Athletic’s Daniel Popper, Chargers GM Tom Telesco says he believes QB Philip Rivers “can still compete at a top starter level.”
  • Telesco added getting Rivers’ contract situation sorted out before he hits free agency on March 18 is the goal: “More than likely, yeah. There’s no doubt.” (Popper)

Patriots

Patriots WR Julian Edelman was regularly spotted hobbling through practices as the 2019 regular season drew to a close. Edelman was listed as limited with knee and shoulder injuries, but the veteran wideout and No. 1 receiver for QB Tom Brady says he’s feeling good heading into New England’s wildcard game against the Titans. 

“I feel good, and that’s that,” Edelman said on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. “I feel better than I have in the last few weeks, and I feel good enough to go out and compete at a high level.”

Receiver has been a noted area of weakness for the Patriots in 2019. After spending the first half of the season on injured reserve, however, the hope is that first-round rookie WR N’Keal Harry can find his stride to become some kind of X-factor for New England in the playoffs. Harry’s snaps and targets rose during the final few games of the regular season. 

“Everything they’re asking of not only myself but everybody else is is manageable and stuff we can handle,” Harry said via NESN’s Doug Kyed. “We’ve got a lot of smart players. We have to be ready for anything they throw at us and everything they expect us to do.”

Raiders

Raiders fifth-round rookie WR Hunter Renfrow was already having a solid rookie season before breaking out in a big way in the final two games of 2019. Renfrow went over 100 yards receiving and scored a touchdown in each of his last two games as a rookie and has established himself as a leader to be the team’s slot receiver when they move to Las Vegas next year.  

“I think the young kid from Clemson is special,” Raiders HC Jon Gruden said, via Myles Simmon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think he’s a real fun guy to coach.”

Renfrow’s breakout came after he missed a handful of games with a rib injury that Gruden thought could be season-ending at the time. However, Renfrow says the time off was actually helpful in that it allowed him to take a step back to learn and “process things” during his three-week absence. 

“I think that sometimes it’s good to sit out and kind of see things you can work on,” Renfrow said. “I think missing those three weeks — when you want to be out there — I think that definitely helped me be able to process things.”

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