AFC West: Richard Gordon

Most significant moves: The Raiders were one of the more intriguing teams in the NFL on cut-down day because they have so many holes and ongoing competitions. There were a lot of significant moves. The Raiders are desperate for pass-rushers, and they cut two who were expected to make contributions. Veteran Andre Carter (expected to be a leader on a young team) and seventh-round pick David Bass were cut. Coach Dennis Allen recently said the team was counting on Bass. Tight end Richard Gordon had a chance to start, particularly because he is a good blocker on a team with a bad offensive line, but he was cut. Jeron Mastrud is the starter for now with David Ausberry coming back from a shoulder injury. The punting battle has yet to be settled. Both veteran Chris Kluwe and youngster Marquette King were kept. Either Oakland will let the two battle it out another week or cut one of them when the team makes roster additions. Perhaps the Raiders are even trying to swing a trade. Since King has made it this far, he might stick around. The team wanted to see improved consistency and he has shown it.

Crowded quarterback room: The Raiders are keeping four quarterbacks. The team kept both fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and undrafted free agent Matt McGloin of Penn State. It would be highly unusual for a team to keep four quarterbacks. Some just keep two. That’s three players who most likely won’t be playing on game day. That is not ideal for a team with major depth issues. McGloin outperformed Wilson and became the No. 3 quarterback. But the decision to keep Wilson comes down to the Raiders not waiting to give up on a quarterback who was a fourth-round pick. I understand. It would be admitting a huge mistake, and perhaps Wilson (many thought he could push to start as a rookie during the offseason) will figure things out. Keeping four quarterbacks adversely affects this roster. The truth is, none of the current quarterbacks in Oakland -- including Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor -- may be the ultimate answer for the franchise. But the Raiders are reluctant to make any decisions now.

What’s next: The Raiders are thin and will likely look for players for the next several weeks. I would not be surprised if this team adds four or five players this week. Prime need areas are tight end, the offensive line and pass-rusher. There are a lot of interesting tight ends available, including Tony Moeaki (talented, but injured), D.J. Williams (who was in Green Bay with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie) and Clay Harbor. Possible offensive line targets include Jake Scott and Danny Watkins.

Players cut: DE Andre Carter, LB Omar Gaither, CB Joselio Hanson, T Tony Hills, S Reggie Smith, DL Ryan Baker, DE David Bass, LB Billy Boyko, CB Chance Casey, G Jason Foster, TE Richard Gordon, WR Greg Jenkins, S Shelton Johnson, TE Brian Leonhardt, G Lamar Mady, K Justin Medlock, DT Kurt Taufa'asau, LB Chase Thomas, WR Conner Vernon, RB Deonte Williams and T Willie Smith. G Tony Bergstrom was put on injured reserve. WR Andre Holmes is serving a four-game NFL suspension.

Raiders, Chargers on the bubble

August, 27, 2013
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Here are two players each from the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers who may face being cut by Saturday’s 53-man deadline date:

OAKLAND

Guard Mike Brisiel: He is not a great fit for the power-blocking scheme and he has missed time with injuries. But this is not a deep group. Oakland may not feel comfortable getting rid of him.

Tight end Richard Gordon: It would be a surprise, because he is a fine blocker. But Oakland is pretty wide open at tight end. If the Raiders feel like their other young tight ends offer more potential than Gordon, he could be sent packing.

SAN DIEGO

Receiver Robert Meachem: If Meachem wasn’t guaranteed $5 million, there would be no doubt he would be cut. After a poor first season in San Diego last year the new brass isn’t seeing much from Meacham this year. The Chargers are not deep at receiver. But a lack of confidence in him could make his release possible.

Tackle Max Starks: He is battling the young Mike Harris for the swing tackle spot. Starks was signed to be the left tackle, but it seems like that is King Dunlap's job. I could easily see the Chargers go with Harris’ potential over Starks if the team doesn’t think Starks can start.

A critical phase for D.J. Hayden

August, 18, 2013
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Sunday is a vital day for D.J. Hayden.

He is truly a football player again.

The Oakland Raiders’ rookie cornerback has been cleared for contact and he will begin fully practicing with his teammates Sunday. He is expected to make his preseason debut Friday against Chicago. Hayden had been spending most of training camp wearing a red jersey (like quarterbacks), meaning he could not have any contact.

Hayden, the No. 12 overall pick in the April draft, had life-threatening heart surgery last November after taking a hit on the practice field while at the University of Houston. Hayden then had stomach surgery this offseason to repair scar tissue stemming from the original surgery.

But it appears Hayden is now ready to play fully. Hayden is somewhat behind, but the fact that he has been on the practice field in a non-contact role is vital. Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters that the next few weeks are crucial for Hayden. He is expected to be a starter at a big need area in Oakland.

“It’ll be good to get him in a game situation and let him get out there and play,” Allen said. “We brought him to New Orleans with us this week, we let him go through the pre-game warm ups, again to try and give him that feeling of being back out there on the field again, and I think he’s anxious and excited about getting an opportunity to play this week.”

Meanwhile, Allen announced tight end David Ausberry will miss the rest of the preseason with a shoulder injury. Ausberry is very much in the mix of young tight ends along with Richard Gordon, and rookies Nick Kasa and Mychel Rivera. At this point, Ausberry is probably the most advanced of the group.
NAPA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders are basically starting over.

In the second year of the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen era, the team has hit the reset button. The Raiders kept several high-dollar players at start of the post-Al Davis era in 2012 and saw their decade-long malaise continue. Oakland, which has not been to the playoffs since 2002, lost eight of its final nine games last season and finished 4-12.

McKenzie flushed several players in an attempt to get control -- finally -- of a salary cap that got away from the previous regime. The result is that Oakland, which will be in fine salary-cap shape next year, has questions throughout the roster heading into this season.

Yet, Oakland isn’t ready to give up on another season, waiting for better fiscal times. Oakland is beginning the rebuilding process with several players handpicked by McKenzie and Allen.

The theme of these newcomers is the same: “They love football,” Allen said.

Almost every time I’ve heard Allen talk in 2013, he has mentioned the will and desire of his team. Allen doesn’t dwell on the past, but it is clear he didn’t believe some of the players on his first Oakland roster would totally sell out for the game.

McKenzie said it was crucial to get high-character players in the building.

“This is the only way we are going to get this thing going,” McKenzie said. “We need to get guys who want it. I think this team, as a whole, wants it. You need talent but you need high-desire players. Sometimes, that is more important than talent. Now, we have talent, but the key is to find guys who have both. We think we have the kind of guys who can be here when we turn this thing around.”

It is doubtful Oakland will be a factor in the AFC West this season, but it’s all about the building process. Having players whom McKenzie and Allen believe in is a start.

“We have to build a swagger,” Allen said. “This team has to have a vision and a belief that this is going to be a good football team.”

THREE HOT ISSUES

1. The quarterbacks: Like most positions in Oakland, there is flux at the most important position on the field. The Raiders became a mystery at quarterback when Carson Palmer declined a pay cut. With a sudden hole, McKenzie turned to Matt Flynn in a trade with Seattle. Flynn was with McKenzie in Green Bay. He has two NFL starts under his belt, and he is 28. He has been the most consistent of the Oakland quarterbacks this summer, but he is far from dynamic.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Matt Flynn
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsMatt Flynn, who has started two games in a five-year career, has been the most consistent quarterback for the Raiders this summer.
The Raiders hope he can be a solid game manager and a short-term answer. He must show that in camp. The Raiders also have Terrelle Pryor and rookies Matt McGloin and Tyler Wilson. I get the sense that the Raiders have higher, long-term hopes for Wilson, although he has struggled some in camp. If Pryor can find some consistency and Flynn falters, he or McGloin could get a chance. But the same goes for Wilson, a rookie, if there are no better options later in the season. For the immediate future, the Raiders hope Flynn can show he can be an effective starter.

2. Will McFadden have an impact? Running back Darren McFadden has long been Oakland’s best player. The Raiders need him to regain form to ensure this offense can be competitive. If McFadden and the running game don’t take off, there will be immense pressure on Flynn.

McFadden is looking for a bounce-back season. Oakland scrapped the zone-blocking scheme and will employ a power-blocking attack under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson. McFadden has had success in the latter scheme but must remain healthy regardless of scheme. He has missed at least three games in all five of his NFL seasons. If McFadden, who is in his contract year, can play at a high level again, Oakland’s offense will have a fighting chance. This training camp is about getting him prepared to do so.

3. Where’s the pass rush? Defensively, camp is about trying to find a pass rush. Oakland had little pass rush last season, and the team did little to improve in that area in the offseason. The team’s best pass-rushers are veteran Andre Carter and Lamarr Houston. But they are far from elite. Oakland has to find some pass-rushers to emerge in camp, and it also needs improved play in the secondary to help with the pass rush.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM: The back seven on defense appears to be improved. Oakland may have as many as nine new starters on defense and six in the back seven. Oakland feels better about its overall depth at linebacker and in the secondary.

In fact, I get the sense that the team’s brass is most excited about the linebackers and defensive backs.

The exact linebacker rotation is not clear, but the team is really high on middle linebacker Nick Roach and rookie outside linebacker Sio Moore. Roach has been a leader and has shown high intelligence. Oakland thinks Roach will set the tone for an improved defense. Moore, a third-round pick from Connecticut, has the look of a player who can make an instant impact.

Last season, Oakland’s secondary was one of the worst in the NFL. That doesn’t appear to be the case now.

The cornerbacks are much improved with veterans Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter and rookie D.J. Hayden. The addition of safety Charles Woodson gives Oakland hope on the field and in the locker room.

REASON FOR PESSISISM: The roster is not deep, and there are holes and questions all over.

There are some talented players, and some of these young players will emerge. But getting them ready in this camp is daunting.

The key in the NFL is depth. Injuries can occur at an alarming rate. The teams that survive are the teams with the deepest rosters. Oakland doesn’t seem to have a deep roster. McKenzie acknowledges this.

[+] EnlargeOakland's D.J. Hayden
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsFirst-round pick D.J. Hayden has the want-to attitude his coaches are looking for.
“I can’t afford to get too many injuries,” McKenzie said. “We have to stay healthy. If we do, I think we can be OK. Guys will emerge as camp goes on.”

OBSERVATION DECK

  • The Raiders love Hayden’s attitude. The No. 12 overall pick has the type of want-to attitude the team is looking for.
  • Cornerback Taiwan Jones, who switched positions from running back in the offseason, is a long shot. But because he plays so well on special teams, he has a chance to make the 53-man roster.
  • It is no sure thing that wide receivers Rod Streater and Denarius Moore will be strong starters this year, but both have big potential. Streater, an undrafted fee agent last year, looks particularly comfortable.
  • I love how center Stefen Wisniewski and left tackle Jared Veldheer are looking. These are two of the better young offensive lineman in the game.
  • I get the sense Allen is very pleased with this staff. This group seems like it is working well together.
  • The punting job probably will go down to the wire as Oakland looks to replace Shane Lechler, now in Houston. As expected, veteran Chris Kluwe has shown consistency, but Marquette King has a stronger leg. King has a chance if he can find consistency in the next several weeks.
  • Seventh-round pick and pass-rusher David Bass has shown some nice burst. He has a chance to develop.
  • The tight end position continues to be in flux. The team’s four tight ends are David Ausberry, Richard Gordon and sixth-round picks Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera. I’d say Ausberry is the favorite to win the job. Still, it is a work in progress.
  • The team likes what it sees in returner Josh Cribbs. He has a great attitude and is a good influence in the locker room.
  • Journeyman offensive lineman Alex Barron has looked good. Once considered a longshot to make the team, Barron has a chance to play a lot.
Monday, we looked at the interesting battle brewing between rookie quarterbacks Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin in Oakland.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Tyler Wilson
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsRookie quarterback Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick, appears to have slipped to fourth on the Raiders' depth chart.
Tuesday, the story took another turn when the Raiders released their first depth chart. McGloin actually is listed ahead of Wilson as the third-string quarterback. McGloin is an undrafted free agent out of Penn State, whom the team did not sign right away. Wilson is a fourth-round pick out of Arkansas. In the offseason, there was much speculation that Wilson could vie for the starting job as a rookie.

This latest news, though shows Wilson is far from making that a reality. Wilson now must overtake Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and McGloin if he wants to be the starter this year. That’s a long road. Wilson’s biggest problem has been his consistency.

Still, it’s will difficult to fathom Wilson not on the Raiders’ 53-man roster, even if the three other quarterbacks play well. Cutting him and trying to stash him on the practice squad would be difficult.

There are a couple of depth-chart moves that stand out: Rookie Sio Moore is a starting outside linebacker. It looks like the Raiders are going to show Moore the field and hope the instinctive, talented third-round pick never leaves it.

The Raiders have Richard Gordon listed as the top tight end. But that is a fluid situation. David Ausberry and sixth-round picks Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera are also in the mix.

As expected, veteran punter Chris Kluwe is holding off young Marquette King. Things can change, but Oakland is impressed with Kluwe’s consistency more than King’s at this point.
NAPA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders’ roster is full of question marks as the team looks for young talent to emerge.

Perhaps no position is more in flux than at tight end.

The Raiders have four tight ends who figure to get a chance to play. They are young veterans David Ausberry and Richard Gordon and sixth-round picks Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera.

Oakland is open to adding a veteran at the position and it will certainly study the waiver wire after the 53-man rosters are set in early September. But the current young tight ends will get long looks.

“The good thing is we don’t have to make a decision right now,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “We have time.”

Allen said all four players have unique skill sets and all offer the team something. He said improvements are being made by the group as camp progresses.

While there is a long way to go in this case, I think Ausberry has a chance to emerge. He is highly athletic and has great size. If he can find a consistency, Ausberry can become a solid player.
Our AFC West positional rankings continue with a look at an underwhelming group of tight ends:

1. Antonio Gates, San Diego: Gates is not longer an elite player, but he is by far the most dangerous one on this list.

2. Jacob Tamme, Denver: Tamme is not flashy, but he does a lot of things well -- and he has chemistry with Peyton Manning.

3. Anthony Fasano, Kansas City: He is an underrated type who always gives a solid effort.

4. Joel Dreessen, Denver: He can stretch the field and is a solid rotational player.

5. Tony Moeaki, Kansas City: Injuries have hurt his career. Moeaki has big talent, but can’t stay on field.

6. John Phillips, San Diego: The Chargers are excited about this premier blocker. Not a stats guy, but he will help.

7. Ladarius Green, San Diego: We are into the "has potential" portion of this list. Green, 23 and entering his second season, could replace Gates some day.

8. Travis Kelce, Kansas City: I have a feeling the new Chiefs regime will give Kelce a chance to play a lot as a rookie.

9. David Ausberry, Oakland: Ausberry gets first crack, but he hasn’t shown much. Sixth-round picks Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera are awaiting their chances.

10. Richard Gordon, Oakland: See above.

11. Virgil Green, Denver: He has skills, but has to take next step. Perhaps fellow young Denver tight end Julius Thomas can stay healthy and get on this list next year.

Raiders lose TE Brandon Myers

March, 16, 2013
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The reality of the Oakland Raiders’ salary-cap issues struck again Saturday when tight end Brandon Myers signed with the New York Giants.

The Raiders have seen several good, young players leave the team during free agency. Myers had 79 catches and was the favorite target of quarterback Carson Palmer last year. Myers is a poor blocker and has some limitations in the receiving game. But he is a good player and the bottom line is Oakland needs all the good players it can get.

Tight end may be another hole. The team has young players David Ausberry and Richard Gordon at the position, but neither player is proven. Oakland will need to bring in a tight end in some form. Versatile fullback Marcel Reece can play in some tight end formations.

Oakland has been concentrating on adding defensive players in free agency. The Raiders have several free agents remaining, including punter Shane Lechler. The punter market has been slow. Lechler has been connected to Houston, but there have been reports the Texans may look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, cornerback Terence Newman has tweeted that he will make his decision on where to play in the coming days. Newman, who will be 35 in September, visited Oakland recently. He’d be a starter there.

In the Elvis Dumervil saga in Denver, USA Today reports Dumervil has interest from at least four teams, but he wants to return to Denver. That is believable since he did agree to a pay cut. The issue is whether the Broncos can figure a way to make it work.

The Denver Post is reporting Dumervil is close to hiring the powerful Tom Condon as his new agent. Condon is Peyton Manning’s agent. Condon clearly has a successful relationship with Denver’s brass. That may be another sign of Dumervil wanting to stay.
The NFL Network reported that former Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins will visit the Raiders. He is visiting several teams.

This may be the highest bidder type of deal, so if the Raiders value Jenkins, they may be able to get him. With Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour not expected back and Desmond Bryant expected to get interest in free agency, Jenkins could be a key rotational player. He was in Green Bay with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Meanwhile, Oakland tight end Brandon Myers, who had a breakout season in 2012, gets the feeling that he may be playing elsewhere this season. The free agent said his agent has not gotten the idea the Raiders will be big players for Myers in free agency. Yes, the Raiders have other needs and yes, they will have limited spending capability, but the Raiders need to keep all the good players they can.

If Myers leaves, then the Oakland roster will have another big hole. The other tight ends currently on the roster, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon, have not shown they can be counted on as starters.

In other AFC West news:

In an Insider piece, Denver’s Von Miller and Chris Harris and Oakland’s Marcel Reece made the all-undervalued team.

The Denver Post reports the Broncos are expected to do what it takes to keep restricted free agent, Britton Colquitt, from leaving in free agency.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis with the hopes of having one of the best 1-2 running back punches in the NFL.

While starter Jamaal Charles has been fantastic with 591 yards, Hillis hasn’t been unleashed because of an ankle injury. Hillis has missed the past three games with an injury. He has 93 yards on 21 carries this season.

Yet, the Chiefs may be getting close to getting Hillis back. He practiced on a limited basis and the team is hopeful he could play Sunday against visiting Oakland. Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel is looking forward to seeing a Charles-Hillis tandem finally develop.

“You’ve got a big back that can catch the ball, which can break some tackles, who has good vision and all those kinds of things, and being able to complement Jamaal as well,” Crennel told reporters Wednesday. “I think that it makes the defenses have to think twice about how they’re going to defend some things.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ health seems to be improving. Defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey (calf) was limited and he could be getting back to action and receiver/returner Devon Wylie (hamstring) practiced fully.

Meanwhile, Oakland tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) and running back Taiwan Jones (knee) have returned to practice. They were both limited. Linebacker Aaron Curry is practicing for the second straight week. Still, he may not be activated from the physically unable to perform list this week to play at Kansas City.

San Diego left tackle Jared Gaither is practicing for the second straight day. He missed the Chargers’ last game with a groin injury. It would be a boost for the Chargers if he can play Sunday at Cleveland.

Denver cornerback Tracy Porter was limited Wednesday with an illness that kept him out of Week 6 at San Diego. Porter has a solid chance to play against his former team, New Orleans, Sunday if he doesn’t have a setback.

AFC West notes

October, 19, 2012
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Oakland guard Mike Brisiel is probable to play Sunday against Jacksonville. He left the Atlanta game Sunday with a concussion. Backup running back Taiwan Jones (knee) is questionable and will be a game-time decision.

Tackle Khalif Barnes (groin), tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) remain out for Oakland. Spencer might be ready to practice next week.

The Chargers will reportedly visit with former Chicago tackle Chris Williams. The former first-round pick was cut this week and he has visited Philadelphia and Arizona. San Diego’s interest makes sense. The Chargers could use some depth at the position. I don’t think Williams is a top priority, but giving him a chance to develop in a new environment may be worth looking into.

The Chargers worked out former Dallas quarterback Stephen McGee on Thursday.

Here’s more news of fan violence. Really, this has to stop. It’s going on way too much across the professional sports landscape.

Oakland’s game against Jacksonville will be televised locally.
Melvin Ingram's hit on Drew Brees on Sunday night cost the San Diego Chargers.

On Friday, it cost Ingram. The NFL said it fined the rookie pass-rusher $15,750 for roughing the passer. He struck Brees in the head and neck area.

Ingram was penalized 15 yards on a play that wiped out an interception return for a touchdown that would have given the Chargers a 31-14 lead over the Saints in the second half. The Saints caught fire after the penalty and rallied to win, 31-24.

In other AFC West news:

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said Friday that safety Kendrick Lewis will play for the first time this season Sunday at Tampa Bay. He injured his shoulder in the preseason. Receiver Jon Baldwin (hamstring) is questionable. As expected, running back Peyton Hillis (ankle) and defensive end Glenn Dorsey (calf) will not play Sunday. They could return Oct. 28 at home against Oakland. The Chiefs have a bye next week.

Denver left tackle Ryan Clady tweaked his hamstring this week and he did not practice Thursday. He will be monitored going into Monday night’s game at San Diego. Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas (hip) and linebacker Keith Brooking (concussion) practiced fully Friday after they were both limited Thursday.

For San Diego, left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) did not practice for the second straight day with a groin injury. UPDATE: San Diego coach Norv Turner indicated that Gaither will have difficulty playing Monday night. If that is the case, undrafted rookie Mike Harris would start. He played for Gaither at the start of the season because Gaither had a back problem.

San Diego receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring) did not practice Friday after being limited Thursday and receiver Malcom Floyd (groin) was limited.

For Oakland, tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out of the game at Atlanta on Sunday and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (foot) is questionable.

Monday night’s game will be shown locally in San Diego.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters Friday that pass-rusher Andre Carter will make his Raiders’ debut at Atlanta as a rotational player.

Denver announces Holliday claim

October, 11, 2012
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To spark some life into a porous punt return game, Denver has announced it has claimed diminutive returner Trindon Holliday. He was cut by Houston on Wednesday.

He replaces Jim Leonhard as the returner. Denver cut safety Duke Ihenacho to make room for Holliday.

Holliday, 5-foot-6, 169 pounds, is a speedster who has the ability to make things happen on special teams.

Meanwhile, Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas (hip) and left tackle Ryan Clady (hamstring) were limited in practice Thursday in preparation for Monday’s game at San Diego.

In other AFC West news:

San Diego left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) is getting rested Thursdays. The team is hopeful he can play Monday.

Oakland defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (foot) and tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) did not practice.

Raiders trot the globe

October, 10, 2012
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The 2012 Oakland Raiders are mighty travelers.

They will continue logging miles Sunday when they go to Atlanta. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Raiders, 1-3, will travel 28,692 miles this season, the most in the NFL. Seattle is second with 26,200 miles and San Diego is third with 25,666. (The circumference of the Earth is approximately 24,900 miles.)

The Raiders play in five games that start at 10 a.m. PT this season. It is the most in team history.

In other AFC West news:

The Chargers had a light practice Wednesday in preparation of Monday’s game against Denver. Left tackle Jared Gaither and running back Ryan Mathews didn’t practice. But the team is hopeful they will play.

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said running back Peyton Hillis (ankle) and defensive end Glenn Dorsey (calf) are not going to practice, but they are making progress. They have both been out for two weeks. I’d bet they don’t play Sunday at Tampa Bay, but both should be on target to play after next week’s bye. Kansas City safety Kendrick Lewis practiced fully. He has been out since August with a shoulder injury. Kansas City receiver Jon Baldwin (hamstring) was limited in practice.

As expected, Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced fully. He is expected to play Sunday at Atlanta. He has been out since suffering a concussion after taking a brutal hit against Pittsburgh in Week 3 that caused him to spend a night in the hospital. Oakland tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) is not practicing. He didn’t play in Week 4. The Raiders had a bye in Week 5.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is charging up Mike Sando’s MVP Watch.

AFC West notes

September, 29, 2012
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Catching up on the news of the day after arriving in Kansas City:

Denver put safety Quinton Carter on the injured reserve. He will require knee surgery. That means fellow 2011 draft pick Rahim Moore will likely remain the starter. Carter, who took the job from Moore last year, had been expected to push Moore at some point.

Denver promoted safety Duke Ihenacho and linebacker Mike Mohamed from the practice squad. Mohamed was promoted because starter Joe Mays is suspended for Sunday’s game against Oakland for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Matt Schaub last Sunday. Keith Brooking is expected to start for Mays.

San Diego officially announced that kicker Nick Novak has been signed and offensive lineman Reggie Wells has been cut. Novak is replacing kicker Nate Kaeding, who is out for Sunday’s game at Kansas City with a groin injury. Novak kicked for the Chargers last season after Kaeding tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Kansas City's top receiver, Dwayne Bowe (groin), is expected to play Sunday. He is one of four Chiefs receivers listed as questionable on the injury report.

In addition to receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion), backup Oakland tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Broncos. Derek Hagan is expected to start for Heyward-Bey.

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