AFC West: Austen Lane

Mid-week mail call:

Jerry from Newport Beach, Calif., wants to know if I think the Kansas City Chiefs sign receiver Brandon Lloyd.

Bill Williamson: I don’t think he will be a priority. If the Chiefs don’t think Donnie Avery and Jon Baldwin are good enough complements to Dwayne Bowe late in the preseason and Lloyd is still available, perhaps something could be done then. Lloyd is from Kansas City. I’m sure he’d be open to the idea.

Lance Baxter from Colorado Springs wants to know if I think the AFC West will make improvements as a whole soon.

BW: I think it is going to get better. I like the coaching in the division. So, teams will improve. But it all depends on the quarterbacks, too. If Alex Smith can get it going in Kansas City, if one of Oakland’s quarterbacks can show he can be a solid starter and if Philip Rivers rebounds in San Diego, the division can get better quickly. If not, the struggles, as a whole, may linger.

Wes from Houston, Mo., wants to know where I think the Chiefs will use newly claimed Austen Lane.

BW: Lane, claimed off waivers from Jacksonville earlier this month, is listed as a defensive end. Some scouts think he will line up as 3-4 linebacker in some pass-rushing situations. He has some pass-rushing skills. I think the Chiefs just want to see if he can fit in their scheme. It was a low-risk addition that could end up helping the team’s depth.
John Dorsey was the scout who helped bring Vonta Leach to the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

So it is natural to think Dorsey, now the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, could have some interest in the fullback now that he is a free agent. The Baltimore Ravens cut Leach this week and has now been linked to the Chiefs and Broncos.

Leach's agent, Ralph Vitolo, said he talked to Dorsey this week and has not talked to the Broncos. Vitolo said Dorsey was “non-committal” but said perhaps the team could interest in Leach at some point. The Chiefs have several young fullbacks and I can see Leach getting a look if the Chiefs want a veteran presence the position.

In other AFC West notes:

The Chiefs claimed pass-rusher Austen Lane off waivers after the Jacksonville Jaguars cut him on Thursday. He was a fifth-round pick in 2010 and has 16 starts. He could be a backup outside linebacker in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense. Defensive tackle Daniel Muir was cut to make room for Lane.

Former Oakland Raiders safety Matt Giordano has signed with the St. Louis Rams. Giordano started 22 games for Oakland over the past two seasons. Giordano was a high-effort player, but he isn’t considered a solid starter and is more of player that adds depth. The Raiders signed Charles Woodson, who is a big upgrade over Giordano.

The San Diego Chargers announced Dr. David Chao has left the team because he wants to spend more time with his family. He was under fire from the NFLPA because of malpractice allegations. He has not implicated after a recent investigation.

A group of Broncos will attend the funeral of the parents of running backs coach Eric Studesville in Madison, Wisconsin. The couple was killed last week in a motorcycle accident in Texas.
SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers just announced their inactive players for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.

Inside linebacker Stephen Cooper is out with a knee injury. He will be replaced by Brandon Siler.

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman is active after being out three-plus weeks with an Achilles injury. However, second-year player Larry English is starting. Merriman has had limited practice time since ending his holdout in mid-August. He was injured shortly after his holdout ended.

Here are the complete inactive lists for both teams:

San Diego