Evening AFC West news and notes

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

San Diego standout center Nick Hardwick made significant but incremental progress Wednesday by practicing on a limited basis. He has been out since suffering a major ankle injury in Week 1 at Oakland. He had surgery and there were initial thoughts he’d be out until December.

He could potentially come back in two to three weeks. Hardwick’s return could be a major boost for San Diego, especially in the running game.

Also in the AFC West:

  • San Diego linebacker Kevin Burnett didn’t participate in practice Wednesday because of the ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s game. Defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo (ankle) was also held out of practice. Linebacker Shawne Merriman was limited with a foot injury.

  • Oakland linebacker Ricky Brown continues to be out with an ankle injury. Defensive end Greg Ellis didn’t practice because of a knee injury. Receiver Chaz Schilens didn’t practice due to a foot injury. Schilens suffered a setback last week in his recovery. He has been out for 10 weeks with a broken foot. Guard Robert Gallery practiced on a limited basis for the first time since breaking his foot in Week 2.

  • The Chiefs have not announced a decision on the future of running back Larry Johnson. He has been banned from team activities while the Chiefs investigate homophobic comments he made earlier this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Johnson is not expected to play Nov. 8 at Jacksonville. The Chiefs have a bye this Sunday.

  • Denver safety Brian Dawkins practiced Wednesday on a limited basis. Dawkins suffered a hamstring injury against the Chargers on Oct. 20. Defensive tackle Ronald Fields also didn’t practice (hamstring).

  • Denver quarterback Kyle Orton and linebacker Elvis Dumervil remain on the ESPN.com MVP watch list.

  • Former Kansas City assistant coach Darvin Wallis has died. He was 60. He was a defensive assistant/quality control coach for 19 years.

  • Tackle Chris Patrick left Kansas City’s practice squad to sign with San Francisco’s active roster. The Chiefs added defensive back Ricky Price to take Patrick’s spot on the practice squad.