- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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There are two storylines in the AFC West that have caused many fans to ask me via my mailbag if there are hidden agendas at work.
The stories are the video scandal in Denver and Vincent Jackson's calf injury in San Diego.
Let’s take a look:
Teams: Denver-Kansas City
Background: The Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels were fined a combined $100,000 after the NFL determined that the team’s video director, Steve Scarnecchia, filmed a San Francisco walk-through practice the day before the 49ers’ win over the Broncos on Oct.31 in London. Scarnecchia was fired.
This is where Kansas City comes in. Many Chiefs fans have asked if the reason why Kansas City coach Todd Haley wouldn’t shake hands with McDaniels after a 49-29 Denver win was because Haley suspected that the Broncos were cheating.
My take: For all I’ve heard, Haley’s displeasure stemmed the action on the field that day. If the Chiefs suspected foul play, I’m sure we could have heard by now.
But the point is, Denver put itself in this position by allowing this scandal to happen. Every time Denver wins from here on out, people will wonder if they had illegal help. Is it fair? Perhaps not, but neither is filming an opponent. So the Broncos are going to have to live with this type of speculation. By the way, check out this tough talk on McDaniels’ involvement in the case, which has been closed by the NFL.
Team: San Diego
Background: Jackson left the Chargers’ win at Indianapolis after two plays with a calf strain. It was Jackson’s first game back after holding out. The only reason why he returned to the team was to accrue a season toward free agency. Many San Diego fans are wondering if Jackson is faking the injury, so he doesn’t have to play for the team, but still get credited for the season.
My take: I can see why people would think it because of the timing. But I just think its bad timing. This is another example of how players are prone to muscle pulls after long playoffs. I don’t think Jackson would do this, anyway. He is a very competitive player who has a lot of pride.
Anyways, Jackson would likely pull a fake muscle during his past four weeks of practice if he really didn’t want to play. Perhaps we’ll find out differently, but I don’t think there is any funny business going on.