AFC Notes: Sparano, Patriots, Hoyer, Browns

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers sees big things ahead for Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr, writes Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “He played really well,” Rivers said. “He was efficient, making some checks, handling things at the line. He showed great poise. I don’t know him at all. He’s got a heck of a career if he keeps this up.” Even though Oakland came up short in their upset bid over San Diego, Raiders fans have to be happy with what they saw out of Carr yesterday. More from the AFC..

  • Raiders players have responded well to interim head coach Tony Sparano, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Despite Sunday’s final result, Sparano is clearly getting better play out of his team than predecessor Dennis Allen was.
  • Even with serious injuries to linebacker Jerod Mayo and running back Stevan Ridley, Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter) doesn’t expect the Patriots to make any roster moves today, even on a short week.
  • With that said, the Patriots auditioned five linebackers today, according to Field Yates of (on Twitter): Justin Anderson, Kaelin Burnett, Tim Dobbins, Mario Harvey, and Paul Hazel.
  • Pending free agent Brian Hoyer would like to stay with the Browns but he’s also being realistic as he looks ahead. “I’m from Cleveland and I want to be here…but [I’m] also a competitor. I want to be somewhere where I’m playing,” the quarterback said, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (via Twitter).
  • Browns head coach Mike Pettine is hopeful that center Alex Mack can return to the field in 2014 after undergoing surgery on his broken fibula, writes Pat McManamon of If Mack has only a broken leg, it’ll be an 8-10 week absence. If it’s anything more, he’d be done for the year.
  • More bad news for the Browns. In addition to possibly losing Mack for the season, they learned that they’ll also be without defensive end Armonty Bryant, who has a torn ACL, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Bryant also has a partial MCL tear and will undergo surgery soon. Pettine told reporters today, including Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald (on Twitter), that a replacement for Bryant may be necessary. That’s not the case at center, however, where he feels he has in-house options to step in.
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