AFC West: San Diego Charegrs
U-T San Diego is reporting that Chargers team doctor David Chao has been exonerated by three independent doctors in an unanimous ruling. The ruling was promoted after the NFL Players Association had requested that Choa be dismissed.
The Kansas City Star reports former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress could still join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City in an undefined offensive role. Childress was an offensive coordinator for Reid in Philadelphia last decade.
The Chiefs signed defensive tackle Marcus Dixon. He was with the Jets for a few games last season with new Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
Starting receiver Denarius Moore, however, has practiced all week. Barring a setback, he should be able to play. Rookie receiver Juron Criner is also dealing with a leg injury.
Oakland may have to rely on starter Darrius Heyward-Bey, undrafted rookie Rod Streater -- who was reportedly working with the starters Saturday -- and newly signed Derek Hagan.
It could be difficult, especially with an inexperienced group at tight end. But if Moore can shake off the rust of not playing during the preseason, Oakland could get by in the passing game.
Meanwhile, San Diego defensive tackle Antonio Garay is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. He practiced on a limited basis all week. As expected left tackle Jared Gaither (back) and running back Ryan Mathews (shoulder) are out. Mathews may play next week against Tennessee. There is no real timetable for Gaither’s return, but the team is still hoping he can play this season.
In other AFC West news, the Chiefs re-signed seventh-round pick Junior Hemingway to the practice squad and cut offensive lineman Rich Ranglin on Saturday. Last week, the Chiefs made the exact opposite move.
According to NFL.com, the new Denver quarterback’s jersey has been more popular than the former Denver quarterback’s new jersey. From the period of April 1-May 28, Manning’s Denver No. 18 jersey is the biggest selling jersey in the NFL. Tebow’s New York Jets’ No. 15 jersey is the second-best selling jersey.
Denver signed Manning on March 20. The next day, Tebow was sent to the Jets.
The fact that Manning’s jersey is selling better than Tebow's shows substance over style may be winning. Manning is one of the most decorated players in league history, while Tebow has created a stir in the NFL without becoming a true throwing quarterback.
We all know by now who John Elway preferred, and it seems the jersey-buying public agrees.
In other AFC West news:
- San Diego linebacker Larry English has a groin injury. He should be back next week. Missing OTAs in the late spring is no big deal, but English has to find a way to stay on the field once training camp begins. Thus far, injuries have robbed the No. 16 overall pick of the 2009 draft of trying to have a solid NFL career.
- Receiver Jonathan Baldwin -- the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2011 -- has been the talk of the OTAs this spring. I expect to see Baldwin make big strides in his second season. He showed flashes last year after he missed a big chunk of the season because of a broken thumb he reportedly suffered in a fight with running back Thomas Jones.
- The Chiefs reportedly may host the Arizona Cardinals during training camp.
OAKLAND, Calif. – A look at a game in which the Kansas City Chiefs got back into the AFC West race:
What it means: The Chiefs are relevant in the AFC West again. Their thumping of the beat-up Raiders improved their record to 3-3. The Chiefs have overcome massive injuries and a 0-3 start. Coach Todd Haley --- who hasn’t shaved since the team has started winning -- deserves immense credit for bringing this team back to .500. The Raiders fell to 4-3. In addition to the Kyle Boller-Carson Palmer quarterback issues, the Raiders played most of the game without running back Darren McFadden, who has a foot issue, and the entire game without kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Tomorrow’s talker: The Raiders’ weird decision at quarterback will be chatted about often. Oakland didn’t feel like Palmer was ready to start because he practiced just three days after being traded from Cincinnati. Yet the Raiders felt it was necessary to put in Palmer when Boller landed them in a 21-0 hole. Both quarterbacks were dreadful. Each player threw three interceptions and each had one retuned for a score.
Streak over: The Raiders’ streak of eight consecutive AFC West victories is over. It was the longest current streak in the NFL. The Raiders swept the division last year. That won’t happen this year.
Chiefs' weapons: The Chiefs are starting to show real versatility on offense, even without star running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki, both out for the season with knee injuries. Quarterback Matt Cassel has been terrific during the Chiefs’winning streak and he has a nice chemistry with receivers Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. Running back Jackie Battle is doing enough and the Chiefs even threw in cornerback Javier Arenas for a score out of the Wildcat. First-round pick Jonathan Baldwin made his debut Sunday and he looks to get more action as the season progresses. This team is getting dangerous, folks.
Flowers blooms: Last year, in Oakland, Kansas City standout cornerback Brandon Flowers struggled badly. Sunday, though, Flowers was outstanding. He intercepted a Palmer pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and he made several big plays in the game.
What’s next: Kansas City hosts first place San Diego (4-2) on Monday Night Football on Oct. 31. The Raiders have their bye in Week 8, then come back to host Denver in Week 9. If the Chiefs beat the Chargers, there will be a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West after Week 8.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Because Denver, Oakland and San Diego are all not expected to play their starters much tonight, if at all, we are only going to look at one issue for each team heading into the preseason finales.
While the Chiefs were interesting all the way through the preseason because coach Herman Edwards worked key starters Thursday night, the primary goal for the other teams in the AFC West is to simply get through the final preseason game.
Hamza Abdullah: The safety has had an interesting summer. He finished last season as a starter and played weak. The team had high hopes. Yet, Abdullah suffered a groin injury on Aug. 1 and he missed two weeks. In his absence, veteran pickup Marquand Manuel played well and kept Abdullah's job when he returned. However, Manuel broke his thumb last week while covering a kickoff. He is still expected to be able to play Sept. 8 against Oakland in the season opener.
However, there are indicators Abdullah still has a chance to win his job back. If he has a good game against Arizona, Abdullah could move closer to taking his job back.
Young receivers: Players such as Todd Watkins and Chaz Schilens could solidify their places on the 53-man rosters with good nights at Seattle. The Raiders will likely keep both players but they both could work their way into solid playing time.
Oakland will likely sign a veteran in the wake of Drew Carter's season-ending knee injury. The Raiders are thin at receiver but Watkins and Schilens have been bright spots. They both need to continue to be.
The backup RBs: The Chargers don't need much (other than keeping their superstars healthy). This team is pretty set.
But the Chargers would like to see more quality work form backup tailbacks Darren Sproles and Jacob Hester. Both of LaDainian Tomlinson's understudies have been terrific in the preseason. It wouldn't be a surprise if neither Sproles nor Hester didn't play much at San Francisco because they have both proven they will be valuable this season.