Around the AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The Denver Post reports that quarterback Kyle Orton may not be ready to play on opening day.

My take: If a finger injury (Orton hurt the index finger on his throwing hand) keeps Orton from playing at Cincinnati on Sept. 13, the Broncos could be a bigger mess than they already are. Backup quarterback Chris Simms won’t be ready to play on opening day because of an ankle sprain. That would mean sixth-round pick Tom Brandstater would play. Brandstater may eventually become a good quarterback, but there is no way he is ready to play. Add in the uncertain immediate future of suspended receiver Brandon Marshall and the fact that rookie running back Knowshon Moreno is no sure thing for the opener because of a knee injury, and the Broncos appear to be a huge underdog against the Bengals.

Kansas City

Are the Chiefs in for a bad season because of the ouster of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the injury to quarterback Matt Cassel?

My take: It certainly isn’t a great development for the Chiefs, but they can get through this. Head coach Todd Haley takes full charge of the offense and that’s a good thing. He got hired for his offensive success, so the Chiefs will be fine there. And Cassel will not be out for an extended period time. Just chalk it up to a bad day in Kansas City.


Samson Satele is not a shoo-in for the starting center’s job in Oakland.

My take: Raiders coach Tom Cable said Satele, acquired from Miami this offseason, is battling John Wade and Chris Morris for the job. That has to be disappointing for Oakland. Cable talked up Satele when he was acquired and the Raiders thought he’d be an upgrade for Jake Grove, who signed with the Dolphins and prompted them to make the Satele deal. Satele can still pan out, but he hasn’t been as dominant as the Raiders hoped.

San Diego

Michael Bennett is making a push to make the 53-man roster.

My take: Bennett may be too exciting for the Chargers to let him go. Yes, San Diego has a crowded backfield, but he has been too effective in San Diego for the Chargers not to seriously consider keeping him around.