Organized Team Activities are underway, as a majority of the teams around the league have begun their offseason workouts. All four teams within the AFC West are hard at work, and there’s already plenty that’s occurred just several days into the program; let’s take a look.
After leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship game last season, expectations in Denver with quarterback Case Keenum now at the helm are a mile high. Keenum’s road to the Broncos starting quarterback position wasn’t easy, but the six-year veteran has finally found a permanent landing spot with the team for the foreseeable future. The 30-year-old signal-caller had a career year in 2017, which is why he’s expected to lead the Broncos back to the postseason.
Pressure aside, Keenum is making a good impression amongst his teammates, and according to DenverBroncos.com, the new quarterback has brought a sense of leadership to the locker room.
"He's smart. He's demanding, and he helps out a lot,” said running back De’Angelo Henderson. “He's real relaxed. He's not uptight. He's not an angry guy. He's [like], 'Hey, right here,' simple stuff like that."
We’ll see how Keenum and the rest of the Broncos chemistry looks when the season starts.
Kansas City Chiefs
Running back Spencer Ware missed the entirety of the 2017 season after tearing his PCL and LCL in August last year.
A year later he’s still recovering from the injury, but is looking forward to returning in the future. However, Ware, along with De’Anthony Thomas, and center Mitch Morse were held out of practice Thursday. Thomas, like Ware, is a dynamic playmaker on the Chiefs offense, and his absence would be felt. Morse has been the team’s starting center the last three years, and his return will likely help with the maturation of quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.
Los Angeles Chargers
The last three years it feels like the injury bug has plagued the Bolts, as they’ve had several players on their roster suffer season-ending injuries, many before the season even starts. I don’t know if there’s something in the water down south, but once again another key player has been diagnosed with a season ending injury.
Tight end Hunter Henry – the young and promising athlete from Arkansas – will miss the 2018 campaign with an ACL tear, which he suffered during the team’s first day of OTAs. At just 23 years of age, Henry has already established himself as a versatile asset on the Chargers. This is certainly a devastating blow for the team, but the Chargers have plenty of talent in running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen to try to pick up the slack.
During his two seasons with the Bolts, Henry has totaled 81 receptions, 1,057 yards, and 12 touchdowns.