AFC West Notes: Bolts, Broncos, Incognito

Tyrod Taylor could be on the verge of being benched in September for a second time in three seasons. A chest injury he was battling caused Justin Herbert to be called upon Sunday, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Taylor received a pregame injection to the area (Twitter link). Complications ensued, prompting Chargers HC Anthony Lynn to call on Herbert. While the No. 6 overall pick fared better than could be expected, given the lack of offseason prep time, Lynn has not named him the Chargers’ Week 3 starter. The fourth-year coach said he will turn back to Taylor when he is “100%” recovered from the chest setback.

Whether “100%” will be how the Bolts justify keeping Herbert in the lineup or not, it would seem difficult for the team to give the job back to its bridge starter. The Chargers drafted a quarterback in the first four rounds for the first time since 2006 and saw him throw for 311 yards in an overtime loss, making it entirely possible Taylor is benched again. The Browns sidelined Taylor after three starts in 2017.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Von Miller has not given up on returning this season. The Broncos‘ future Hall of Fame linebacker has been studying how some non-NFL athletes returned in three months from the injury he suffered — as opposed to the four- to six-month timetable he was given after suffering a dislocated peroneal tendon — and has told teammates he could return in mid-December, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. However, since this report surfaced, the Broncos lost Drew Lock for perhaps more than a month and Courtland Sutton for the season. They are already down A.J. Bouye and Phillip Lindsay for the foreseeable future, making a playoff run more difficult to envision. As for Miller’s long-term future, the 31-year-old pass rusher has told teammates he is eyeing five or six more seasons, per La Canfora. This tracks with previous Miller plans.
  • Speaking of Lindsay, the Pro Bowl running back will almost certainly miss Week 3 and may be out longer. Rather than turf toe, Lindsay is dealing with a toe sprain, Rapoport notes. This represents a tough break for the UDFA success story, who was discussing an extension shortly after last season’s conclusion. However, the Broncos instead opted to sign Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $8MM deal. Lindsay is set for restricted free agency in 2021.
  • Brandon McManus‘ four-year, $17MM Broncos extension will guarantee the Denver kicker $4MM in 2021, but Mike Klis of 9News notes the deal’s final three seasons are not guaranteed (Twitter link). McManus is due to earn base salaries of $3MM (2022), $3.75MM (’23) and $3.95MM (’24) over the course of the deal, which also came with a $2.5MM signing bonus. The Broncos have used McManus as their kicker since 2014 but are not committed to him beyond 2021.
  • Richie Incognito left Monday night’s Raiders win with an Achilles issue, but the veteran guard may not miss any time. Incognito aggravated a previous injury but did not suffer a tear, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Raiders were already down right tackle Trent Brown, due to a reportedly not serious calf injury, and backup tackle Sam Young against the Saints.
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7 comments on “AFC West Notes: Bolts, Broncos, Incognito

  1. Ak185

    Miller should take his time. The Broncos have been gutted by injuries and don’t seem to be in contention this year. Healing up fully and preserving his body for the future (including his post-football future) will help him much more down the road, as well as helping his team more. Miller is a valuable leader even when not on the field, so even though it will difficult to watch on the sidelines, he can still help his team enormously by just being around the building and his teammates.

  2. I don’t understand why the Chargers are even thinking about playing Taylor unless they are considering tanking. You know exactly what you’re getting with Taylor: a serviceable QB who can hit his checkdowns and the occasional bomb who won’t lose you the game but won’t win it, either.

    Herbert is your future and certainly didn’t look overwhelmed or lost out there. Why not play him? He may even give you a better chance to win than Taylor would. I mean, Herbert threw for 311 yards on Sunday. Taylor has only one 300 yard game in his entire career.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Using a first round pick on somebody to warm the bench has never made any sense to me. Game experience will always be the best teacher.

      • Ak185

        Sometimes they’re not ready. Arguably the two most physically talented quarterbacks we’ve ever seen (Rodgers and Mahomes) both sat their rookie years.

        That said, I was pretty surprised that Herbert looked so good, because he had never taken a snap under center in his career, and those guys (the ones who need to lead the mechanics specifically) are usually the ones who need to sit. It is only one game, however, and against a secondary starting two rookies. I think I’d start Herbert myself, but I can understand wanting to at least Taylor a chance to answer, given the unusual way that he ended up sitting.

  3. Yep it is

    Been an Anthony Lynn fan. He needs to be run out of town if he goes back to Taylor.

  4. Heywally

    Coupled with his body of work with the Chargers and his after game comments about the QB situation, the coach would be on thin ice with me were I the GM or owners.

    I haven’t seen any Charger QB look like that since, well, never, and I’ve been watching them for decades. Fouts became great but he certainly didn’t move like that. PR tended to make big mistakes in big situations, for a big part of his career though I liked his dart throws.

    I mean, c’mon, he had no NFL experience or prep for this game and was thrust into that situation and look what he did.

    Rather than defend TT (coaches pick) after the game, coach Lynn should have offered some effusive praise for Herbert. He didn’t need to say that TT was going to stay the starter if he was healthy.

    I watched TT play in that first game and they are going not far with him under center.

  5. JoeBrady

    As a fan, I’d be starting Herbert. But I’d give the coach the benefit of the doubt if he thinks he needs more learning.

    To me, it is like calling up a AA player for a 2-week IL replacement, having him have two good weeks, and then deciding he doesn’t need AAA.

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