AFC West: Ike Ndukwe
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the team cut backup offensive lineman Ike Ndukwe after he attacked defensive lineman Vaughn Martin in practice Thursday. The paper reported that Ndukwe punched Martin, then kicked him. Ndukwe is said to have been unhappy with the way Martin was aggressively rushing him.
I can see why San Diego made this move. Attacking a teammate can’t be tolerated and Martin can’t be blamed for practicing hard. Also, Ndukwe was a bottom-of-the-roster player who was with the team for three weeks — and thus the perfect player to make an example of.
Baxter spent camp with the Chargers and spent time on the Jets’ 53-man roster before going on San Diego’s practice squad. The Chargers will be without starters Kris Dielman (who is out for the year because of a concussion), left tackle Marcus McNeill (stinger) and guard Louis Vasquez (ankle) Sunday. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that this will be the team’s starting offensive line Sunday. Tony Moll and Ike Ndukwe were signed earlier this week.
In other AFC West nuggets:
The Chiefs have ruled out linebacker Demorrio Williams for Monday night’s game at New England because of a groin injury.
Former Giants’ receiver Amani Toomer is the latest pundit to chime in on Tim Tebow. Count Toomer as among those in Tebow’s corner. In fact, the ex-Giant would take the Broncos’ quarterback over Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez if he was building a franchise. Not a bad argument considering Thursday’s results in which Tebow outplayed Sanchez when it counted in the Broncos’ 17-13 win over the Jets.
The Oakland Tribune expects Carson Palmer to have a big day Sunday against a depleted Minnesota secondary.
It’s no surprise the Chargers put standout guard Kris Dielman on the injured reserve after he suffered a serious concussion Oct. 23 at the New York Jets.
There was initially hope Dielman would be able to return this season, but he is still dealing with issues form the concussion. Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure near the end of the team's charter flight from a game against the Jets.
One of the reason why Dielman was put on the injured reserve is he is several weeks from returning, and battered San Diego needs help. The San Diego Union Tribune reported the team signed veteran Ike Ndukwe. The Chargers signed Tony Moll on Tuesday. The newspaper reports Moll could start at Dielman’s spot Sunday because his replacement, Tyronne Green, is also dealing with an injury.
- In Kansas City, quarterback Matt Cassel had hand surgery after being injured Sunday against Denver. Kansas City coach Todd Haley said Cassel could possibly return this season. However, a lot of it will likely depend if the Chiefs are in contention later in the season.
- For Denver, running back Willis McGahee is listed as questionable to play Thursday night against the visiting New York Jets; McGahee has been limited in practice this week with a hamstring injury he suffered early Sunday at Kansas City. The team is hopeful McGahee can play Thursday, but it will likely be a game-time decision. The Broncos will need McGahee with backup Knowshon Moreno out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
- In Oakland, running back Darren McFadden is making progress from a foot injury he suffered in Week 7. Still, he may be challenged to play at Minnesota on Sunday.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Kansas City Chiefs announced that they will send one undisclosed 2010 draft choice to Miami as compensation for offensive linemen Ike Ndukwe and Andy Alleman. The Chiefs describe Nduwke as a guard. He was moved from guard to tackle in Miami. Alleman is listed as a guard/center. Meanwhile, the Chiefs cut guard/center Brian De Le Puente.
Oakland coach Tom Cable said JaMarcus Russell will be the team's opening day quarterback when the Raiders host San Diego on Sept. 14 on ESPN's Monday Night Football. This is no shocker. Russell has been the team's top choice at quarterback all along. If Jeff Garcia is going to take the starting job away from Russell, it will have to be at some point during the season.
Cable said middle linebacker Kirk Morrison will be ready to play in the season opener. He suffered a dislocated elbow against San Francisco. Morrison could fall behind Ricky Brown, who is pushing him for the starting job, while he is out.
San Diego star linebacker Shawne Merriman is happy with his progress from a knee surgery last year. Merriman doesn't expect to be at full speed until a few weeks into the season. Still, expect a full effort from this player while he continues to recover.
The Dolphins cut Ernest Wilford. It will be interested to see if the Raiders and Chiefs, who both need help at receiver, will take a look at the receiver/tight end.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
We just found out something about new Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli: He is going to aggressively try to fix problem areas.
After the Chiefs' offensive line struggled in the first two preseason games, Pioli has made a move to improve both the starting lineup and the depth on the unit.
Pioli acquired guard/tackle Ike Ndukwe and guard/center Andy Alleman from Miami. Ndukwe started 15 games at guard last season and he was moved to tackle this season. He could push both guard Mike Goff and tackle Barry Richardson in Kansas City. Both Goff and Richardson have struggled. Alleman could potentially push for a starting spot at guard if Ndukwe wins the tackle job.
Ndukwe and Alleman were Miami's starting guards in its playoff game against Baltimore. Last season, Alleman started four games for the Dolphins.
These two aren't world-beater players, but they can upgrade Kansas City's line. The move shows Pioli is willing to do what it takes to address problem areas. Kansas City coach Todd Haley had said new quarterback Matt Cassel may have to make plays with his feet because of the line issues. Perhaps these moves will give Cassel more time.
Meanwhile, Kansas City cut linebacker Vince Redd, who was with Pioli in New England.