AFC West Blog
One of the most productive fantasy kickers around won't be around for the Broncos' first four games this season. Matt Prater has been suspended for that amount of time for violating the league's substance abuse policy. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the suspension is alcohol-related. Prater has been in the league's alcohol program since getting charged with DUI in August 2011. The suspension is expected to be announced Monday.
"I've made some mistakes," Prater said. "I'm accepting full responsibility. I'll learn from it and come back a better person. I want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches, the Broncos' organization and the fans."
According to Prater's agent, Harvey Steinberg, the NFL initially threatened to suspend Prater for a full year, but an agreement was reached to knock it down to four games.
Last year, Prater made 25 of his 26 field goal attempts, set an NFL record with 75 extra points and finished second in the league with 150 total points. Since the Broncos have their bye in Week 4, Prater won't be eligible to return until Week 6.
Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has not considered retirement after sustaining a concussion during Saturday night's preseason game versus the Texans. The 33-year-old Welker has now suffered three concussions in one year, but Broncos head coach John Fox says that retirement "has not been brought up at all." Welker is questionable for the Broncos' Week 1 game against the Colts.
Wes Welker took a big hit to the helmet area from Texans safety D.J Swearinger during the Broncos' Saturday night preseason game. Welker left the field immediately and was taken in for further evaluations. It was later reported by head coach John Fox that Welker had suffered a concussion. This is the third time Welker has suffered a concussion in his last 10 games, including the preseason. His availability for the regular-season opener is currently in doubt.
Broncos running back Montee Ball is expected to make his preseason debut today against the Texans, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. He underwent an appendectomy on Aug. 4 and returned to practice Tuesday. Ball went through 11-on-11 drills and took handoffs with the first-team offense Thursday. After the practice, Ball tweeted, ""Heeeees baaaaaccckkk!"
Charles is not expected to play in the Chiefs' third preseason game versus the Vikings Saturday night, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. Charles had been sidelined recently with a foot injury, but was able to return to training camp this week. Still, the Chiefs apparently see fit to rest Charles for the game, which is often referred to as a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season.
Tom Krasovic certainly loves himself some Malcom Floyd. The U-T San Diego writer has pinned the "MVP" tag on the 32-year-old wideout for the second time in five weeks. Krasovic wrote Tuesday that Floyd was the Most Valuable Player of Chargers training camp "in a runaway." This comes about a month after Krasovic named Floyd the team's spring MVP.
Broncos running back Montee Ball returned to non-contact practice on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jeff Legwold via Twitter. Ball underwent an appendectomy on August 4. It will likely be a few days or a week before Ball takes any contact, and he will not play in the Broncos' third preseason game.
Whatever type of training camp competition was taking place between Raiders quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Derek Carr, either real or perceived, is over. NFL.com Ian Rapoport said Monday that Schaub is the Raiders' starter and that the team believes he is ready to return to being the solid NFL starter he was for some time in Houston.
"Make no mistake, Derek Carr is the future of the Oakland Raiders' quarterback situation," Rapoport said. "It's just not going to be the present."
Dwayne Bowe was arrested this past November for possession of marijuana. As a result, Bowe will miss the Chiefs' opener against the Tennessee Titans, according to Adam Schefter. Last season Bowe only totaled 673 yards and five touchdowns. Bowe's statistics have been regressing since the 2011 season, the last 1,000 yard season for the receiver.
ESPN's Adam Teicher says that there's "no sign yet that Bowe will bounce back" this season, and that the receiver isn't performing very well in camp. Teicher also says that Bowe has struggled with drops. Bowe turns 30 this season, and he's coming off the worst statistical performance of his career. In 2013, he took 57 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns.