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Early AFC West notes: Orton is active

DENVER -- Chris Simms is expected to start on Sunday against San Diego in a game for first place against the Chargers. But starter Kyle Orton is active. At this point, it is likely as a backup.

Simms, who hasn’t started an NFL game in more than three years, was expected to get the nod because Orton has a badly sprained ankle and didn’t practice all week.

If Simms starts, it will create several challenges for the Broncos as they try to end a three-game skid.

The Chargers had an unannounced visit with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, which players had a chance to voice concerns.

Oakland placed linebacker Ricky Brown on injured reserve, ending his season. He had been out several weeks with an ankle injury. Linebacker David Nixon was promoted from the practice squad to replace Brown.

Denver rookie linebacker Robert Ayers is inactive for the first time this season. He was the No. 18 overall draft pick. He was not on the injury report this week.

The game-time temperature is expected to 49 degrees with clear skies.

Kansas City linebacker Andy Studebaker has two interceptions. He is starting in place of the injured Mike Vrabel.