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Monday, October 27, 2008
Catching up on AFC West news

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

I just returned from New Jersey where I was covering the Chiefs and Jets on Sunday. There is plenty of going on in the AFC West this evening.

Let's get caught up:

In Kansas City, it appears Larry Johnson, who was charged with assault stemming from an incident earlier this month, will not play. The team has kept Johnson inactive the last two games because of his off-field issues. He is scheduled to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday. It likely is a step towards a suspension by the league.

However, in an e-mail sent to the Kansas City Star and the Associated Press, general manager Carl Peterson indicated that Johnson won't soon see the field.

"As we have previously indicated, it is in the best interest of both Larry and the Chiefs that Larry focuses his attention on addressing his personal issues. At present, we do not believe Larry can contribute to our team on the field until those issues are resolved," Peterson said.

It could be a while before Johnson sees the field. Obviously, the Chiefs aren't finished punishing him and he will likely get suspended by the league.

The 1-6 Chiefs only have nine games remaining this season. Will Johnson miss all of November? Will it be worth it to bring him back for the final month? Is his Kansas City career over?

If Johnson doesn't play for the Chiefs again this season, it would be a reasonable assumption that his days in Kansas City would be at an end. He will be 29 next month and he has plenty of wear and tear. The Chiefs may want to cut ties to Johnson and he would likely welcome a fresh start elsewhere, especially if his punishment continues.

Monday's statement by Peterson could easily be the beginning of the end for Johnson in Kansas City.

Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said quarterback Daunte Culpepper is not necessarily coming in for a visit this week. Edwards said the team and Culpepper continue to talk. Perhaps Tyler Thigpen's excellent showing in the Chiefs' 28-24 loss at the Jets on Sunday lessened the urgency to acquire a veteran quarterback. Thigpen, who completed his first 10 passes of the game Sunday, threw for 280 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and he was not intercepted in what was his second career start. Still, this is a situation worth keeping an eye on.

Meanwhile in Oakland, the Raiders lost fullback Justin Griffith for the season. He suffered a knee injury in Sunday's loss at Baltimore. The Raiders raided the Bears' practice squad to fill the spot.

Griffith will be missed. He is a fine blocker and a good locker room influence. Luke Lawton is the only true fullback in Oakland.

In Denver, the Broncos made several roster moves to fulfill the voids opened by season-ending injuries to linebacker Boss Bailey (knee), quarterback Patrick Ramsey (elbow) and tackle Erik Pears (non-football injury).

As expected, Denver signed receiver Chad Jackson. The signing has been in the works for several days. Jackson was a second-round pick by New England in 2006. He was cut by the Patriots after the preseason. Denver wanted Jackson in the draft. He will be a backup for Denver and will likely be a fourth or fifth receiver.

Denver also signed former Buffalo offensive lineman Matt Murphy and promoted cornerback Josh Bell from the practice squad. Cornerback Rashod Moulton and center Greg Eslinger were signed to the practice squad. Eslinger was a draft choice of Denver's in 2006. The team hoped he would be the center of the future but he has yet to develop.