AFC West: Shane Vereen

The Raiders placed cornerback Chris Johnson on the reserve/non-football illness list Saturday. Johnson’s sister was shot to death and his mother was wounded in an attack in Texas recently; Johnson has been traveling back and forth from California.

The Raiders signed defensive end Mason Brodine to the 53-man roster to fill Johnson's spot.

In other AFC West news:

The Patriots ruled out Deion Branch, Patrick Chung, Shane Vereen, Brandon Spikes and Sebastian Vollmer for Sunday’s game at Denver.

Denver signed safety Kyle McCarthy and cut fullback Quinn Johnson. McCarthy was cut earlier in the week. The Broncos are banged up at safety — starter Brian Dawkins is questionable with a neck injury that knocked him out of the Chicago game and held him out of two days of practice.

Detroit safety Louis Delmas has been downgraded to out for Sunday’s game at Oakland.

Offensive coordinator Bill Muir is back to the press box to call the game as the Chiefs shift from the Todd Haley regime to the Romeo Crennel regime.

Gunther Cunningham, who spent many years in the AFC West before landing in his current gig as Detroit defensive coordinator, is looking forward to going back to the Black Hole on Sunday with the Lions.

Major kudos to Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell for continuing to be a stalwart in the community after being injured. It’s been a tough season for Campbell, but he’s handled the situation with immense class.

Scout down, scout down

March, 11, 2011
Check out this video of Denver scouting executive Matt Russell getting blown up by Colorado first-round tackle prospect Nate Solder during the school’s pro day. That’s no way to treat a former Colorado Butkus Award winning linebacker. Oh, and go ahead, underline former. I bet Russell thinks twice about volunteering his services at future pro days.

In other pre-lockout deadline AFC West Friday afternoon nuggets:

T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s future may be cloudy in Baltimore. If he is cut, Oakland could look at him again. He played for new Oakland coach Hue Jackson in Cincinnati. Houshmandzadeh isn’t exactly a top-flight option anymore, though. He will be 34 in September and he had just 30 catches last season.

Denver safety Brian Dawkins talks about the reality of concussions in the NFL.

Oakland has talked to California running back Shane Vereen as part of its pre-draft planning.