AFC West: Billy Latsko
There was no way Gates was going to play Sunday at Denver, anyway. Gates had hoped to return for the playoffs, but the Chargers were eliminated from the postseason in a loss at Cincinnati on Sunday.
To replace Gates, the Chargers signed fullback Billy Latsko. Running backs Mike Tolbert (neck, shoulder) and Jacob Hester (knee) haven’t practiced this week and might not play Sunday, so Latsko might be needed.
Gates had a terrific season before it was derailed by a nagging foot injury. He had 50 catches, 782 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. Gates ikely won't play in the Pro Bowl, but he was unlikely to play even if he wasn't put on the injured reserve Thursday because of the injury.
Meanwhile, it looks like linebackers Stephen Copper (knee) and Larry English (foot) will likely not play Sunday. They haven’t practiced all week. Receiver Malcom Floyd practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday with a nagging hamstring injury.
Update: I checked with a San Diego official who said Gates can be cleared to play in the Pro Bowl. He must be cleared by Jan. 18 to be able to play in the Jan. 30 game. Still, I’d bet he doesn’t play.
How long does Denver's Josh McDaniels have to win? The best guess of the Denver Post's Mike Klis is that McDaniels has this season and 2011 to reach the playoffs before owner Pat Bowlen starts feeling antsy.
As running back Correll Buckhalter nears the end of his career, he's focused more and more on a singular goal: Winning a Super Bowl before he retires.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kcchiefs.com talks with versatile rookie Tervaris Johnson, who played defensive back, tight end and fullback/h-back while with the Hurricanes.
Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride laments the pitfalls of predicting team records, but ends up forecasting seven wins for the Chiefs.
Don't expect Terrell Owens to find a home in Kansas City; he and coach Todd Haley don't get along.
Jerry McDonald argues running back Michael Bush needs to play more like power back to help the offense be more balanced.
Considering the Raiders' moves and other AFC West storylines this offseason, Josh Kirkendall says you shouldn't be surprised if the Raiders make a playoff run.
San Diego Chargers
Vincent Balistreri has a Q&A with cornerback Antoine Cason, who talked about replacing Antonio Cromartie and losing LaDainian Tomlinson.
Chargers.com has a preview the fullback position. Mike Tolbert, Jacob Hester and Billy Latsko will battle for roster spots and playing time.
Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's wife Stephanie, who's the new girl's baseketball coach at Cathedral Catholic High, talks about the trials of being in a two-coach household.
The San Diego Chargers just announced their eight-man practice squad:
Gary Banks WR Troy
Darry Beckwith LB Louisiana State
Simeon Castille CB Alabama
Corey Clark T Texas A&M
Andre Coleman DE Albany
James Holt LB Kansas
Billy Latsko FB Florida
Ryan McDonald C Illinois
The San Diego Chargers just announced their final cuts.
I will follow up with an analysis post soon. But here’s the list:
The San Diego Chargers released 21 players today and placed DE Ryon Bingham on Reserve-Injured (arm) to reach the NFL’s mandatory 53-player roster limit. The following players were released:
LB Eric Bakhtiari
WR Gary Banks
LB Darry Beckwith
CB Simeon Castille
T Corey Clark
DE Andre Coleman
TE Charles Davis
G Ray Feinga
G Kynan Forney
DE Keith Grennan
LB James Holt
DT Rashaad Jackson
FB Billy Latsko
WR Charly Martin
C Ryan McDonald
RB Kestahn Moore
DT Ian Scott
T L.J. Shelton
CB Antonio Smith
P Truman Spencer
TE Kory Sperry
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
SAN DIEGO -- Here are the inactive players for tonight's showdown in the AFC West in the winner-takes-the-division game between the Broncos and the Chargers:
Denver Broncos Inactives
San Diego Chargers Inactives
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Chargers added fullback Billy Latsko from their practice squad. Latsko is a first-year player from Florida.
He gives the Chargers depth at fullback with starter Mike Tolbert likely out with a shoulder injury he suffered last week against Atlanta. Tolbert didn't practice all week. Jacob Hester will likely play more Sunday against Atlanta.
To make room for Lasko, defensive end Keith Grennan was put on the injured reserve with a leg injury.