AFC West Notes: Raiders, Smith, Mahomes

Here’s a look at the AFC West:

  • Raiders coach Jack Del Rio offered some support for Sean Smith as he faces felony assault charges. “I think we’ll let him battle legally what issues he has,” Del Rio said (via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle). “I don’t really have anything to add to it. I mean, I think you heard the story. He was defending his sister. Obviously, things occurred that were taken issue with, so he’s having to defend himself right now.” Smith played in the team’s second preseason game Saturday night and right now there’s no reason to believe that the team will come down on him with a suspension. However, depending on how things shake out, Smith may have to answer to the legal system and the league office.
  • Chiefs coach Andy Reid was unequivocal when asked whether rookie Patrick Mahomes could start over quarterback Alex Smith. “It’s Alex’s job. There’s no gray area,” Reid said (via Ian Rapoport of on Twitter). John Dorsey was in charge at the time of the Mahomes pick, but apparently new GM Brett Veach was the one who put him on Dorsey and Reid’s radar. There’s every reason to believe that Mahomes will wind up as the Chiefs’ main QB at some point, but the Chiefs want to avoid speculation of the transition happening this year.
  • Chargers back up offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell has a broken hand, as Alex Flanagan of NFL Network tweets. Burwell first joined the Bolts as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He appeared in eleven games as a rookie and five last season.
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