AFC West: Brandon Bair

AFC West injury report

December, 28, 2012
Denver guard Chris Kuper is listed as questionable to play against Kansas City on Sunday. He has missed the past three games with an ankle injury. Denver coach John Fox said, even if Kuper doesn’t play Sunday, he is hopeful for Kuper's return in the playoffs.

Punt returner Trindon Holliday (ankle) is doubtful and cornerback Tracy Porter (concussion) is out.

For Kansas City, defensive end Tyson Jackson (toe) is doubtful. Kansas City has several players listed as questionable, including linebacker Tamba Hali (illness), tight end Tony Moeaki (head) and tackle Branden Albert (back).

For Oakland, guard Mike Brisiel (ankle) and safety Tyvon Branch (ankle, neck) are questionable. For San Diego , linebacker Donald Butler (groin) is doubtful and running back Ronnie Brown (hamstring) is questionable.

In other AFC West news:

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and linebacker Von Miller and San Diego safety Eric Weddle all made John Clayton’s All-Pro team. It’s another indication that the fact that Weddle was a fifth alternate to the Pro Bowl is an utter shame.

There is some solace for Weddle. His teammates named him the team MVP. I think that’s a good call.

For what it’s worth, New England fans seem quite pleased with how the 2009 Richard Seymour trade to Oakland has gone for the Patriots.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was fined $10,000 by the NFL for kicking Oakland’s Tommy Kelly in the Panthers’ win Sunday. Newton was fined an additional $21,000 for contact with an official during the game. Also, defensive end Greg Hardy was fined $25,000 for his hit on Raiders QB Carson Palmer. It knocked Palmer out for the season with rib and lung injuries.

The Raiders promoted defensive lineman Brandon Bair and defensive back Cory Nelms from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Cornerback Phillip Adams was put on injured reserve. Seymour went on the injured reserve Thursday.

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel, who had his knee drained on Thursday, said he expects to coach Sunday in Denver from the sideline as opposed to the press box. Crennel said he felt much improved Friday.
No one has lost more in this post-lockout NFL world than undrafted free agents.

Let’s take a moment and give some attention to the youngsters who face a serious challenge in making a roster. I enlisted Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. to list the top five undrafted free agents in the AFC West. Here are Muench’s thoughts:

1. Kansas City -- Oregon DL Brandon Bair: Bair has the long arms, quickness and bulk to transition from defensive tackle to defensive end in Kansas City’s base three-man front. He’s a hard worker who needs to improve his pad level and hand fighting to realize his potential in this scheme.

2. Kansas City -- Michigan State TE Charlie Gantt: The Chiefs have also done well to give Gantt a look in training camp. Gantt isn’t a game-changer or a dominant in-line blocker but he has the tools to develop into an effective short-to-intermediate target and wall-off blocker.

3. Denver -- Auburn RB Mario Fannin: Fannin put the ball on the ground too much and left too many yards on the field by missing seams at the college level so it came as little surprise that he didn’t get drafted. On the other hand, he could prove to be a steal for Denver. His size/speed blend is impressive and he can contribute on third down -- both as a receiver and as a blocker.

4. San Diego -- Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien: Tolzien doesn’t project as the heir apparent to Philip Rivers in San Diego. He just doesn’t have the frame or arm strength to carry a franchise. Still he’s a strong signing because he has the work ethic, smarts and enough accuracy to develop into an effective backup and Billy Volek is 35 years old.

5. Denver -- Michigan State WR Mark Dell: Dell isn’t going to run away from NFL defenses after the catch or take the top of the coverage. He is however an effective zone buster with the toughness to make plays over the middle. Though he will have a harder time separating from man coverage he has the size and is a savvy enough route runner to produce against sub-package defensive backs. It’s also worth pointing out that Denver signed Fresno State’s Jamel Hamler who could also contribute as a No. 4 or 5 in time.



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