AFC West: Luke Lawton
Oakland running back Michael Bush hopes to return to the field Sunday at Arizona. He has been out since Aug. 28 with a broken left thumb. Oakland should have formidable running attack with Darren McFadden and Bush when he returns.
Oakland will continue to rotate Jared Veldheer and Mario Henderson at left tackle. Veldheer moved back to tackle in Week 2 after starting at center in Week 4.
Oakland terminated the contract of fullback Luke Lawton.
Biggest surprise: There wasn’t a lot of surprising names on Oakland’s cut list. Defensive end Jay Richardson can qualify as a mild surprise. Richardson’s departure may mean Trevor Scott will play more end. He was an end who was moved to linebacker and was supposed to start at linebacker. However, he played end in the preseason finale Thursday night. Fullback Luke Lawton is on the suspension list and Oakland currently doesn’t have a traditional fullback on its roster. Center Chris Morris was cut and the team announced rookie Jared Veldheer will be the starting center. The smalls-school Veldheer was drafted as a tackle and played on a limited basis at center in the preseason. But he is a better long-term player than Samsom Satele, who will be the backup. Still, Veldheer will have his hands full as a rookie playing center against NFL competition. Still, he is new blood and Oakland needs an influx talent on the line.
No-brainers: The Raiders cut just one of their draft picks, seventh-round pick Stevie Brown. Oakland really likes this class and if resurgence is under way in Oakland, this class will have a lot to do with it. Defensive tackle John Henderson was kept. There was talk he could be on the bubble. But he is too valuable. He may not be an every-down player, but he can help against the run in a limited role. Second-year receiver Nick Miller was kept. The Raiders really like this small, but tough player. With Michael Bush potentially out several weeks with a broken thumb, the team needed veteran running back Michael Bennett. He had a fine preseason.
What’s next: The Raiders could do anything. Remember, they shocked the league by trading for Richard Seymour last year the day after he roster was set. Expect Oakland to look at veteran receivers, including former Seattle receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The team could also look for a veteran center to give Veldheer more time to develop. Also, veterans Thomas Howard and Chris Johnson could still be subject to trade talks if the right deal comes along.
Potential unrestricted free agents: P Mitch Berger, S Vernon Fox, T Brandon Gorin, Nick Greisen, G Ben Hamilton, G Russ Hochstein, DE Vonnie Holliday, CB Ty Law, WR Brandon Lloyd
Potential restricted free agents: LB Elvis Dumervil, OL Chris Kuper, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Kyle Orton, TE Tony Scheffler, DT Le Kevin Smith
Franchise player: None.
What to expect: The Broncos’ restricted class is talented. That will be the focus. It has been reported that Marshall, Orton, Dumervil, Scheffler and Kuper will all get one-year tenders. Marshall very well could be traded. It wouldn’t be a shock if Dumervil gets some action on the restricted market. Miami could be interested.
Potential unrestricted free agents: OL Andy Alleman, S Mike Brown, WR Chris Chambers, WR Terrance Copper, TE Sean Ryan, C Wade Smith, LB Mike Vrabel, WR Bobby Wade
Potential restricted free agents: RB Jackie Battle, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Corey Mays, OL Ikechuku Ndukwe, OL Rudy Niswanger, OL Ryan O'Callaghan, S Jarrad Page
Franchise player: None.
What to expect: The Chiefs are interested in keeping some of their unrestricted free agents. General manager Scott Pioli said at the combine the team has been in contact with several of their free agents. Chambers is the focus. The team is trying to keep him. Brown and Vrabel could also return with new deals.
Potential unrestricted free agents: S Hiram Eugene, G Cornell Green, T Langston Walker, LB Sam Williams
Potential restricted free agents: LB Jon Alston, OL Khalif Barnes, LB Ricky Brown, LB Jon Condo, QB Charlie Frye, QB Bruce Gradkowski, LB Thomas Howard, RB Luke Lawton, OL Chris Morris, LB Kirk Morrison, CB Stanford Routt, RB Gary Russell
Franchise player: DE Richard Seymour.
What to expect: The Raiders franchised Seymour and signed kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a record deal, so they’ve already been busy. It will be interesting to see how they tender Howard and Morrison. The Raiders could use some new life at linebacker and this could be the start of it.
Potential unrestricted free agents: DT Alfonso Boone, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, C Dennis Norman, WR Kassim Osgood. T Jon Runyan, DT Ian Scott, TE Kris Wilson
Potential restricted free agents: OL Jeromey Clary, LB Tim Dobbins, WR Malcom Floyd, DT Antonio Garay, OL Eric Ghiaciuc, LB Marques Harris, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Travis Johnson, OL Marcus McNeill, LB Shawne Merriman, RB Darren Sproles, QB Charlie Whitehurst
Franchise player: None
What to expect: The Chargers have their hands full. It’s been reported they will give high tenders to Jackson, Merriman, McNeill and Floyd. Jackson and McNeill could still attract some interest on the restricted market. Sproles is not expected to be tendered, making him a free agent. The Chargers want him back. But if Sproles hits the open market, the multifaceted weapon could be scooped up quickly.
- San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman did not practice all week, but was listed as probable. He has a nagging foot injury that the team wants him to rest during the week
- In Denver, Eddie Royal, who has neck/head injuries, was limited in practice Thursday. He did not practice Wednesday. Denver linebacker D.J. Williams was limited in practice with an ankle injury. He did not practice Wednesday.
- Kansas City defensive end Glenn Dorsey (knee) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (shoulder) practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday.
- Oakland fullback Luke Lawton was suspended for four games for using a banned substance. His suspension will last until Week 3 of next season. Lawton is a backup.
OAKLAND -- Oakland receiver Chaz Schilens is inactive. He was a game-time decision. Schilens has been out with a broken foot.
- Oakland receiver Javon Walker is active. He has played four snaps all season.
- Gary Russell is starting for Oakland at fullback in place of the injured Luke Lawton.
- Eagles rookie Jeremy Maclin is starting in front of Kevin Curtis, who is inactive.
- Oakland coach Tom Cable was jogging around the field about three hours before game time.
- It is a 63 degrees and cloudy in Oakland
- The stadium is empty. About 45,000 fans are expected to attend the game in the 61,000-seat Coliseum.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
I just returned from New Jersey where I was covering the Chiefs and Jets on Sunday. There is plenty of going on in the AFC West this evening.
Let's get caught up:
In Kansas City, it appears Larry Johnson, who was charged with assault stemming from an incident earlier this month, will not play. The team has kept Johnson inactive the last two games because of his off-field issues. He is scheduled to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday. It likely is a step towards a suspension by the league.
However, in an e-mail sent to the Kansas City Star and the Associated Press, general manager Carl Peterson indicated that Johnson won't soon see the field.
"As we have previously indicated, it is in the best interest of both Larry and the Chiefs that Larry focuses his attention on addressing his personal issues. At present, we do not believe Larry can contribute to our team on the field until those issues are resolved," Peterson said.
It could be a while before Johnson sees the field. Obviously, the Chiefs aren't finished punishing him and he will likely get suspended by the league.
The 1-6 Chiefs only have nine games remaining this season. Will Johnson miss all of November? Will it be worth it to bring him back for the final month? Is his Kansas City career over?
If Johnson doesn't play for the Chiefs again this season, it would be a reasonable assumption that his days in Kansas City would be at an end. He will be 29 next month and he has plenty of wear and tear. The Chiefs may want to cut ties to Johnson and he would likely welcome a fresh start elsewhere, especially if his punishment continues.
Monday's statement by Peterson could easily be the beginning of the end for Johnson in Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said quarterback Daunte Culpepper is not necessarily coming in for a visit this week. Edwards said the team and Culpepper continue to talk. Perhaps Tyler Thigpen's excellent showing in the Chiefs' 28-24 loss at the Jets on Sunday lessened the urgency to acquire a veteran quarterback. Thigpen, who completed his first 10 passes of the game Sunday, threw for 280 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and he was not intercepted in what was his second career start. Still, this is a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Griffith will be missed. He is a fine blocker and a good locker room influence. Luke Lawton is the only true fullback in Oakland.
In Denver, the Broncos made several roster moves to fulfill the voids opened by season-ending injuries to linebacker Boss Bailey (knee), quarterback Patrick Ramsey (elbow) and tackle Erik Pears (non-football injury).
As expected, Denver signed receiver Chad Jackson. The signing has been in the works for several days. Jackson was a second-round pick by New England in 2006. He was cut by the Patriots after the preseason. Denver wanted Jackson in the draft. He will be a backup for Denver and will likely be a fourth or fifth receiver.
Denver also signed former Buffalo offensive lineman Matt Murphy and promoted cornerback Josh Bell from the practice squad. Cornerback Rashod Moulton and center Greg Eslinger were signed to the practice squad. Eslinger was a draft choice of Denver's in 2006. The team hoped he would be the center of the future but he has yet to develop.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Raiders are bringing in receiver Chad Jackson for a visit on Tuesday. Jackson, who was cut by New England on Sunday, was not claimed off waivers Monday.
There's word the Raiders were considering claiming Jackson before they signed veteran Ashley Lelie. The Raiders are thin at receiver, so Jackson could fit in, even with Lelie in town. Jackson was a star in college at Florida but never developed in New England.
"Chad will be in Oakland on Tuesday, and hopefully it will work out there," Canter said. "I think it would be a good fit."
Meanwhile, Lelie will likely have a chance to work in Oakland's rotation in their season opener Monday night against Denver. Raiders receiver Javon Walker is nursing a hamstring injury and he could be questionable to play against his former team.
In that case, Lelie could be in the mix against the Broncos. Ironically, the Broncos are also a former team of Lelie's. The Broncos brought in Walker in 2006 to replace Lelie, who spent four seasons with Denver.