NFL Nation: Anthony Toribio

Flowers might be on track to play

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
5:45
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There is no guarantee Brandon Flowers will make his season debut Sunday at Buffalo, but there are signs that he will be on the field.

The Chiefs have listed Flowers as questionable to play Sunday. He has been out with a foot injury since July 31. Flowers has practiced fully the past two days. Also, backup running back Jalil Brown is questionable with a groin injury,

There are four Chiefs out, though. They are defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle). Safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), receiver Devon Wylie (hamstring) and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (ankle).

However, if the Chiefs get Flowers back, it will be a big boost. Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel told reporters Friday that Flowers could be eased back into action.

“I think that you have to kind of temper it and know that conditioning will be a factor, and if the guy is able to play, you may have to monitor his reps,” Crennel said. “Then, some of that will depend on how the game goes. Probably asking him to play 100 plays would not be the thing to do, but if you can mix in here and there and give him a break now and then, then maybe he can get through a game.”

In other AFC West news:

Oakland long snapper Jon Condo practiced on a limited basis. If he is not cleared to play by Sunday, Nick Guess will be promoted from the practice squad. Linebacker Rolando McClain (ankle) and running back Taiwan Jones (ribs) both practiced on a limited basis and are questionable to play. Receiver Denarius Moore is probable after missing several weeks with a hamstring injury. The Raiders are expected to ease him back into action Sunday.

The Chargers announced they have sold enough tickets to avoid a local television blackout Sunday against Tennessee in their home opener. The team received a 24-hour extension. The team is urging fans to wear white at the game. The Chargers will be wearing white jerseys and uniform pants.

Denver cornerback Chris Harris did not practice for the second straight day with an ankle injury. Tony Carter would be the nickel cornerback at Atlanta on Monday if Harris can’t play.

Wrap-up: Falcons 40, Chiefs 24

September, 9, 2012
9/09/12
5:04
PM ET

A look at the Chiefs' disappointing 40-24 loss in the season opener:

What it means: This outcome was not surprising at all. Teams won't win many games when missing four defensive starters. I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West and I’m not concerned about them after this game. Defensive starters Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, Kendrick Lewis and Anthony Toribio were out and linebackers Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher were banged up going into the game. That is too much missing talent against a strong offense like Atlanta’s. Yes, the Chiefs are 0-1. But I expect this team to come together quickly.

Bad second half for offense: Despite the defensive issues, the Chiefs were in this game at halftime, trailing 20-17. The offense was clicking in the first half. Yet, the wheels fell off in the second half. Kansas City missed a field goal, quarterback Matt Cassel fumbled and then he was picked off twice. This coincided with the Falcons’ offense continuing to score at a high level. The Chiefs just couldn’t keep up.

Nice homecoming for Gonzo: Former Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez -- one of the best and beloved Chiefs of all time -- scored a touchdown in his first trip back to Kansas City since being traded to the Falcons in 2009.

Nice day for Charles: In his first game back after tearing the ACL in his knee in September 2011, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles had 87 yards on 16 carries. He looked good, and I expect the Chiefs to continue to increase his workload. All told, the Chiefs had 152 yards rushing on 33 carries. Free-agent pickup Peyton Hillis had just 16 yards on seven carries. I would think Hillis’ workload (and success) will increase.

McCluster looks good: Third-year player Dexter McCluster, who went from receiver to running back and then back to receiver this year, performed well. He had six catches for 82 yards. He was targeted 10 times. It is clear the Chiefs want to work McCluster into a major role. Meanwhile, 2011 first-round pick Jon Baldwin didn’t register a catch.

What’s next: The Chiefs play at Buffalo, which got hammered by the Jets on Sunday. Kansas City safety Eric Berry tore his ACL in Week 1 last season when he was blocked by the Bills' Steve Johnson. Many people, Berry included, wondered if Johnson’s block was too low. Johnson denied any wrongdoing.
In the end, Brandon Flowers’ foot did not improve enough for him able to play in the Kansas City Chiefs’ opener against the pass-happy Atlanta Falcons.

Thus, the Chiefs will be without four defensive starters Sunday and with two starters who were listed as questionable on the injury report.

I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West this season. I still stand by that pick, but today could be rough for the Chiefs playing with such a depleted defense against such a potent offense. The Chiefs must control the game clock with their stout running game featuring Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.

There was hope Flowers could play after he practiced on a limited basis all week. Expect him to be able to play next week at Buffalo unless there is a setback, Jacques Reeves will replace Flowers.

Also out for the Chiefs’ defense are star pass-rusher Tamba Hali (one-game NFL suspension), safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and nose tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle). First-round pick Dontari Poe, who improved steadily in the preseason, will start at nose tackle.

The Chiefs did get some good injury news. Linebackers Derrick Johnson (ankle) and Jovan Belcher (groin) are active. They were listed as questionable on the injury report.

In Other AFC West news:
  • CSN Bay Area reports the Raiders have decided on who will be their kick and punt returners Monday night.
  • The Broncos are wearing a ribbon on the back of their helmet that features the state flag. The ribbon is in remembrance of the victims of the July movie theater shooting in suburban Denver and the wild fires that ravaged the state this year.
Click here for the complete list of Kansas City Chiefs' roster moves.

Most significant move: I found it interesting that defensive tackle Amon Gordon was cut. Gordon is solid, but far from special. But it could open a spot for Shaun Smith. Smith, who was recently cut by the Titans, tried out for the Chiefs on Tuesday. He played for Romeo Crennel in both Cleveland and in Kansas City. Smith could be added to a defensive-tackle group that includes first-round pick Dontari Poe, Anthony Toribio and Jerrell Powe. It was also significant that rookie defensive back DeQuan Menzie was put on injured reserve. The Chiefs have a lot of injuries in the secondary (they also cut veteran Donald Washington) and will need to do something. Young running backs Cyrus Gray, Nate Eachus and Shaun Draughn all made the team, giving Kansas City some intriguing youth in the backfield. Interestingly, the Chiefs kept five tailbacks, but no fullbacks. What does it mean? The will be doing a lot of multiple-tight-end and -receiver sets. It’d also be nice to see Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis share a backfield on occasion.

Onward and upward: The Chiefs cut rookie receivers Junior Hemingway and Josh Bellamy. The Chiefs like both of those players, but they are deep at the position. Both should be headed to the practice squad. As expected, second-year quarterback Ricky Stanzi made the team. He will be the No. 3 quarterback and given another chance to develop. Defensive lineman Jerome Long, a draft pick, could also be headed to the practice squad.

What’s next: Whether or not the Chiefs sign Smith (doing so after Week 1 would avoid guaranteeing his 2012 contract), I think they could add to the defensive line. I think they certainly will look at help for the secondary because of injuries, and if the right linebacker becomes available, the Chiefs could add some depth. I also think the offensive line might be an area in which Kansas City looks for depth -- it has been trying to add a veteran all summer. One name to keep an eye on is former New England offensive lineman Dan Koppen. He has a history with Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli.

Observation deck: Seahawks-Chiefs

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
11:45
PM ET
A look at the Chiefs’ 44-14 home loss to Seattle on Friday night:
  • Yes, I’m sure many Chiefs fans are freaking out over a home blowout like this. But I can’t join the in the hysteria. Maybe I’m wrong, but the preseason is just the preseason, big win or big loss. Now, if the Chiefs get throttled at home by Atlanta in 16 days, then the hand-wringing should commence. But this loss doesn’t mean the Chiefs will be awful in that game.

  • The Chiefs may be the answer to a trivia question: They were the opponent of Russell Wilson's first preseason start. The rookie quarterback was terrific in his staring debut. He beat up the Chiefs pretty good. Should Kansas City be worried that a third-round pick whipped them? It’s not ideal, but again, it’s the preseason, so it really doesn’t matter. Plus, the Chiefs have some injuries. Still, like their performances against St. Louis last week, the Chiefs’ defense showed it is not quite ready for prime time.
  • Kansas City defensive linemen Glenn Dorsey, Anthony Toribio and Allen Bailey were all banged up some Friday. Toribio’s injury allowed first-round pick Dontari Poe to play with the first unit, which was valuable.
  • Brady Quinn spelled Matt Cassel and it looks like he will win the backup job over Ricky Stanzi, which has long been expected. Quinn threw 10 passes and Stanzi didn’t play. You’d have to think that battle has been decided.
  • The Chiefs’ offense was spotty. But it did have a 17-play, 80-yard drive. The Chiefs have had long scoring drives in all three preseason games, which is a good sign.
  • Receiver Dwayne Bowe played some as expected. Bowe ended his holdout last week.
  • Running back Nate Eachus made a push for a roster spot with 98 yards on 10 carries.
  • Receiver Dexter McCluster had a strong game with seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- This isn’t a training camp for the leisurely.

Armed with the best roster this franchise has seen in years, the Kansas City Chiefs are moving quickly under new coach Romeo Crennel. For those who visited the Chiefs camp last year, this pace is foreign.

“There are no wasted moments,” said quarterback Matt Cassel.

The final training camp of the Todd Haley era will live in infamy in the Heartland. The Chiefs’ training camp last season was essentially a three-week walk-through exercise. Haley chose to go that route because he wanted to ease the players back into the program after a lost offseason due the lockout. The plan didn’t work as the Chiefs were physically and mentally behind the rest of the league. The Chiefs, who suffered several major injuries early in the season, were clubbed early in the season and it set the tone for a disappointing season.

However, speed is back in vogue as Crennel tries for head-coaching success in the NFL in his second go-around. The tempo change has paid off so far. The Chiefs have looked crisp in practices and they were dominant on both sides of the ball against Arizona in the preseason opener last week.

The idea is to keep the forward tempo moving into the season as the Chiefs try to win the AFC West for the second time in three seasons.

“It’s exciting to see what is happening here,” Cassel said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we are all on the same page and all want to have success together.”

THREE HOT ISSUES

1. The ACL Club: In addition to bringing in several free agents, the Chiefs are getting back three standouts. Safety Eric Berry, running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki all blew out the ACLs in their knee last September. All of the players are back and on pace to be major contributors this season.

“All of those guys look great,” Cassel said. “They’re going to help us a lot.”

2. Dwayne Bowe’s absence: The Pro Bowl receiver did not participate in the offseason workouts and he was not present for the entire training camp in Kansas City. Bowe has not signed his franchise tender. The general consensus is Bowe will report in early September, just before the season. But there are issues. Bowe has had trouble staying in football shape in the past, so coming in late could be a problem. Plus, he has to learn a new offensive system. The Chiefs want Bowe back, but they are moving forward without him. They know he makes them better, but the team likes its roster and won’t wait for anyone.

[+] EnlargeKansas City's Romeo Crennel
Denny Medley/US PRESSWIREChiefs coach Romeo Crennel has the respect of his players.
3. Good vibrations: This team is in a good place. The players love playing for Crennel. One of the reasons why Crennel was promoted from interim coach was the players’ respect for him. It has continued now that he is the permanent coach. He is a polar opposite of former coach Todd Haley, who was known as somewhat of loose cannon. Crennel is a calm, steady hand. Players love that he’s organized and up front. There is a lot of trust going on in this club.

“They’ve worked hard and they know the possibilities this team has," Crennel said. “Every team feels good about itself this time of year, but this team’s attitude is in the right place.”

REASON FOR OPTIMISM

This is the best overall roster in the AFC West. It is one of the deepest rosters in the AFC. There is proven talent throughout the roster and the team has the right mix of veteran and young players. Still, the Chiefs are the youngest team in the NFL. They are the only team in the league not to have a player over the age of 30.

“When I was on my visit, I just looked up and down this roster and saw so much talent,” free-agent pickup, tight end Kevin Boss said. “It is just loaded with talent.”

You look at this roster, and there isn’t much not to like.

REASON FOR PESSIMISM

The Chiefs will be banged for not being a playoff contender this year until Cassel proves otherwise. The big reason why many people don’t believe in the Chiefs is because they don’t believe in Cassel, even though he has already delivered a division title in Kansas City. Many scouts don’t think he can be a difference maker and because he is the least talented of the four quarterbacks in the AFC West, he will not be able to overcome the other teams in the division. I am of the belief there is enough talent on the roster to help Cassel lead the Chiefs deep into the playoffs. But he must prove it.

OBVERSATION DECK

  • The rap on No. 11 overall pick Dontari Poe is that the defensive tackle wasn’t productive at Memphis. The Chiefs didn’t feel that way. They reviewed every college snap he ever played and they were impressed that he played 60 percent of the snaps at 346 pounds. For what it’s worth, Poe’s college statistics and combine measuruables compare favorably to Green Bay’s B.J. Raji. He has become a star after being the No. 9 overall pick in 2009. Poe is two inches taller and nine pounds heavier than Raji, yet he ran a 4.9 40-yard dash at the combine compared to Raji’s 5.23. Poe had nine more tackles and four more quarterback hurries than Raji in college despite the fact Raji played 16 more college games. This is not to suggest Poe is going to be a better NFL player than Raji, but it does take away some of the steam out of the argument that Poe wasn’t a productive college player.
  • [+] EnlargeKansas City's Dontari Poe
    John Rieger/US PRESSWIREThe Chiefs like what they've seen from first-round pick Dontari Poe so far.
    With Bowe holding out, Jon Baldwin has been thriving under the professional guidance of veteran receivers Steve Breaston and Terrance Copper. Some folks in camp think Baldwin is making strides, because he is taking cues from Copper and Breaston.
  • Defensive ends Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey are plus players for the Chiefs. No, neither is spectacular and they will always get grief for not living up to their draft billing. Dorsey was the No. 5 overall pick in 2008 and Jackson went No. 3 a year later. But both players are excellent run stuffers and are at their top of the game in that area.
  • While the focus is on Poe at nose tackle, Anthony Toribio and 2011 draft choice Jerrell Powe are also in the mix.
  • Inside linebacker Brandon Siler looks good after missing all of last season with an Achilles injury. He could push Jovan Belcher for playing time.
  • While Haley was known for his ranting and raving on the field, new offensive boss Brian Daboll is also fiery. He scoots around the field, barking instruction.
  • His new teammates love running back Peyton Hillis. His toughness and competitiveness have been a talk of camp.
  • Very quietly, left tackle Branden Albert is becoming the player the former Kansas City regime thought they were getting when they took him No. 15 overall in 2008. I expect the Chiefs to try to extend the pending free-agent at some point. He’s been stellar.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brady Quinn-Ricky Stanzi battle to be Cassel’s backup continues all season, but with Quinn winning the job initially. The Chiefs like where they stand with both players.
  • The Chiefs are excited about the potential of tight ends Moeaki and Boss. Expect both to have high profiles in the offense.
  • Second-year pass-rusher Justin Houston has been terrific and the Chiefs are bubbling over at what kind of pass-rush combination Tamba Hali and Houston can become.
  • The team appreciates the flexibility of third-year player Dexter McCluster , who has bounced from receiver to running back to receiver again. McCluster may never have a classically defined role, but he will have a role in this offense.
  • Undrafted rookie receiver Josh Bellamy still has a chance to make the 53-man roster, but in a numbers game, he could be practice-squad bound.
  • So far, so good for new center Rodney Hudson. The second-year player looks comfortable playing with Cassel and vice versa.
  • Camp observers believe kicker Ryan Succop has gotten bigger and stronger, which will help with his field-goal range.
  • The team's fourth-round pick, receiver/returner Devon Wylie, is explosive. He will be given a chance to contribute.
  • Keep an eye on defensive end Ropati Pitoitua. He has outplayed 2011 third-round pick Allen Bailey and he may be a keeper.
  • Brandon Flowers’ foot injury has allowed second-year cornerback Jalil Brown to blossom. I expect Brown to be on the field often in the regular season.

Chiefs announce practice squad

September, 4, 2011
9/04/11
3:03
PM ET
The Kansas City Chiefs have just announced their eight-player practice squad. Highlighting the list is seventh-round pick Shane Bannon (fullback), linebacker Justin Cole, defensive back Quinten Lawrence, receiver Jeremy Horne and massive offensive lineman David Mims. Below is the complete list:

Shane Bannon, FB

Justin Cole, LB

Darryl Harris, G

Jeremy Horne, WR

Quinten Lawrence, DB

Butch Lewis, OL

David Mims, OL

Anthony Toribio, DT
KANSAS CITY –- There was only one mild surprise on the Kansas City Chiefs’ inactive list Sunday for their AFC wild-card game against visiting Baltimore.

Veteran receiver Chris Chambers was inactive, while newly signed veteran receiver Kevin Curtis is active. Chambers has been disappointing this season and he might have played his final game in Kansas City. Curtis was signed Wednesday.

Also, Brodie Croyle is back to being the Chiefs’ backup quarterback while Tyler Palko is the emergency quarterback. Palko was the backup last week against Oakland. Here are Kansas City’s other inactives: receiver Quinten Lawrence, fullback Mike Cox, safety Reshard Langford, linebacker Charlie Anderson, center Rudy Niswanger and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio. Baltimore had no surprises on its inactive list.

Matt Cassel among active Chiefs vs. Rams

December, 19, 2010
12/19/10
11:47
AM ET
ST. LOUIS -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has done little during warm-ups at the Edward Jones Dome.

He might play anyway.

Cassel's name was not among the list of inactive players Kansas City submitted 90 minutes before kickoff. The Chiefs named Tyler Palko as their third quarterback. The Chiefs did not immediately disclose any lineup changes. Cassel or Brodie Croyle could start at quarterback.

Cassel has already missed one game since having an appendectomy. He practiced on a limited basis during the week and did not participate fully in warm-ups at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday morning. Croyle and Palko threw intermediate routes to receivers running at full speed. Cassel tossed soft 8-yard passes to a team staffer while working off to the side.

The Chiefs' inactive list featured cornerback Mike Richardson, safety Ricky Price, fullback Mike Cox, safety Reshard Langford, linebacker Charlie Anderson, center Rudy Niswanger and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio.

Inactive for the Rams: safety Michael Lewis, cornerback Justin King, running back Kenneth Darby, fullback Mike Karney, linebacker David Nixon, guard John Greco, receiver Mardy Gilyard and tight end Mike Hoomanawanui.

The situation at running back is a little troubling for the Rams. Darby is the top backup for Steven Jackson. The team has been naming Karney inactive by choice.

Rookie Keith Toston is the No. 2 running back behind Jackson.
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs will play Sunday without a couple of their top offensive threats.

Seattle receiver Mike Williams and Kansas City receiver Dexter McCluster worked out at Qwest Field, but their teams named them inactive. Williams has been Matt Hasselbeck's go-to target for most of the season. Seattle's offense changes quite a bit without him.

Ben Obomanu, Brandon Stokley, Deon Butler, Golden Tate and Ruvell Martin are active at receiver for Seattle. Obomanu and Stokley played particularly well against New Orleans last week. Tate played well against Oakland before suffering an ankle injury. This is his first game back.

Butler will start in Williams' place, the Seahawks said.

McCluster has missed the Chiefs' last four games.

Also inactive for Seattle: fullback Michael Robinson, guard Chester Pitts, defensive end Clifton Geathers, tackle Will Robinson, nose tackle Colin Cole and defensive tackle Amon Gordon. J.P. Losman is the third quarterback.

Also inactive for Kansas City: cornerback Brandon Flowers, safety Donald Washington, running back Tim Castille, safety Jon McGraw, linebacker Charlie Anderson, linebacker Justin Cole and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio.

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