AFC West: Jacques Reeves

The Denver Broncos are dealing with the one-game suspension of middle linebacker Joe Mays for a violent hit on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub. They're also facing the uncertainty of another starting linebacker with potential league discipline issues.

Outside linebacker D.J. Williams has served half of a six-game NFL suspension for using a banned substance. Williams could face another suspension after being convicted on drunk-driving charges for the second time since 2005.

The league has announced whether Williams will face further discipline, but he could face another suspension in the three-game range. I’d think a decision on Williams’ future will be made fairly soon so both he and the Broncos know what is going on before his current suspension ends.

In other AFC West notes:

The Chiefs put cornerback Jacques Reeves on the injured reserve. The team did not announce a corresponding roster move.

AFC West injury report

September, 21, 2012
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San Diego running Ryan Mathews practiced fully all week and is listed as questionable to play Sunday against visiting Atlanta. He has been out since Aug. 9 with a broken clavicle, but should play barring a setback.

Even though he is listed as questionable, U-T San Diego reports that San Diego coach Norv Turner said of Mathews’ impact on Sunday: "I expect him to come in and play at a high level."

Tight end Antonio Gates practiced fully the past two days and is listed as probable. He missed last week’s game with the injury.

In other key AFC West injury updates:

For Oakland, several players are questionable to play Sunday against Pittsburgh. They include: tight end David Ausberry (shoulder), running back Mike Goodson (hamstring), kicker Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), running back Taiwan Jones (ribs), linebacker Rolando McClain (concussion, ankle), and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee)

Denver linebacker Von Miller (hip) practiced fully Friday for the second straight day and is listed as probable for the game against Houston on Sunday. Nickel cornerback Chris Harris is also listed as probable. He missed the Atlanta game Monday.

For Kansas City, tight end Kevin Boss (concussion), cornerback Jacques Reeves (hamstring) and receiver Devon Wylie (hamstring) are out. Guard Ryan Lilja (back), defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle), safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), receiver Dexter McCluster (shoulder) are questionable, and receiver Steve Breaston (wrist) is probable.
In the end, Brandon Flowers’ foot did not improve enough for him able to play in the Kansas City Chiefs’ opener against the pass-happy Atlanta Falcons.

Thus, the Chiefs will be without four defensive starters Sunday and with two starters who were listed as questionable on the injury report.

I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West this season. I still stand by that pick, but today could be rough for the Chiefs playing with such a depleted defense against such a potent offense. The Chiefs must control the game clock with their stout running game featuring Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.

There was hope Flowers could play after he practiced on a limited basis all week. Expect him to be able to play next week at Buffalo unless there is a setback, Jacques Reeves will replace Flowers.

Also out for the Chiefs’ defense are star pass-rusher Tamba Hali (one-game NFL suspension), safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and nose tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle). First-round pick Dontari Poe, who improved steadily in the preseason, will start at nose tackle.

The Chiefs did get some good injury news. Linebackers Derrick Johnson (ankle) and Jovan Belcher (groin) are active. They were listed as questionable on the injury report.

In Other AFC West news:
  • CSN Bay Area reports the Raiders have decided on who will be their kick and punt returners Monday night.
  • The Broncos are wearing a ribbon on the back of their helmet that features the state flag. The ribbon is in remembrance of the victims of the July movie theater shooting in suburban Denver and the wild fires that ravaged the state this year.

Observation deck: Chiefs-Packers

August, 30, 2012
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A look at the Chiefs’ 24-3 loss at Green Bay:

If I owned an NFL team, I don’t think I’d meddle much. But I’d have one mandate: Do not play starters in the fourth preseason game.

That used to be a universal feeling in the NFL. But in recent years, teams have seemed to use starter some in the final preseason game.

Frankly, it is unnecessary and way too risky. And yes, it may have just bitten the Kansas City Chiefs. Again.

Last year, in the preseason finale, standout tight end Tony Moeaki suffered a season-ending knee injury. Thursday night, the Kansas City Star reported star linebacker Derrick Johnson may have suffered a significant ankle injury. Wow. Even if it is a minor ankle injury, Johnson may not be ready for Week 1 against Atlanta.

What a waste. Johnson didn’t need to play in this game.

Now, there is a chance the Chiefs could be without Johnson, cornerback Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis (they are both injured) and linebacker Tamba Hali serving a one-game NFL suspension) in that game. Good luck, Chiefs.

For a team that was hoping to bounce back from an injury-riddled season in 2011, it seems like Kansas City, is at least, starting the 2012 season with injury issues.

It doesn’t stop on defense. The Kansas City Star reports backup quarterback Brady Quinn could have a significant injury as well. Quinn just beat out Ricky Stanzi for the backup job. If Quinn is going to miss major time, I’d think the Chiefs would pursue a backup quarterback. One option could be David Garrard, if he doesn’t make the Dolphins’ roster.

UPDATE: Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said after the game none of the injuries seem serious at this point.

The Chiefs’ first-team offense and defense played sparingly and led the Packers’ starters after the first quarter.

The Packers led 14-3 at the half, so their backups are probably a little further ahead of the Chiefs’ reserves. No biggie.

Kansas City running back Peyton Hillis highlighted the starting lineups as he rumbled for 46 yards on six carries. Hillis looks ready for the start of the season.

Running back Nate Eachus made a great final push for a roster spot with 99 yards on 21 carries. He was terrific all summer. As a team, Kansas City ran well with 247 yards.

Cornerbacks Stanford Routt and Jacques Reeves stayed on the field after the rest of the Kansas City starting defenders left. Reeves could play extensively in Week 1 if Flowers and Jalil Brown are still injured.

Kansas City notes

August, 25, 2012
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With starting cornerback Brandon Flowers still out with a foot injury he suffered almost four weeks ago and replacement Jalil Brown dealing with a groin injury he suffered against Seattle, Jacques Reeves is currently a starter alongside Stanford Routt.

Flowers and or Brown could be ready to play in Week 1 against the pass-happy Falcons. With Kansas City pass-rusher Tamba Hali serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance policy, the Chiefs will need as many weapons in the pass-defense game as possible.

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel indicated that the starters could play some Thursday at Green Bay after the poor showing against Seattle. If that is the case, I don’t expect the starters to play much in the preseason finale.

Crennel said he could announce his backup quarterback as soon as Monday. It would be a shock if it isn’t Brady Quinn. Ricky Stanzi didn’t play against Seattle and Quinn has been the better quarterback this summer.

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