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AFC West Update: Broncos Defense Suffers Injuries and Chiefs' Jamaal Charles Returns From Torn ACL


After what was an eventful week in the NFL, the league completed its first set of preseason games. The games provided teams with an opportunity to gain information regarding their rosters. Let's take a look around the AFC West and see what's taken place.


Denver Broncos

It's no secret that the Broncos defense played a vital role in the team's Super Bowl victory last season. Much of the team's success last year can be attributed to 2015 Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller. Miller put on quite a performance in the Super Bowl by logging six tackles to go along with two and a half sacks, one of which was a game-sealing strip sack.

Although Miller is a standout talent, he can't continue to carry the Broncos as a whole going forward. The team just suffered a tough blow with defensive end Vance Walker going down with a torn ACL. Along with Walker, the other starting defensive end Derek Wolfe had to leave practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury.

The severity of the injury hasn't been addressed, but Aric DiLalla of mentioned Wolfe was able to put pressure on both legs as he was helped off the field.

Many consider the Broncos defense as the team's strength, with that being noted, going forward the team needs to stay healthy. It'll be interesting to see who steps up in the place of Walker, and Wolfe if he's unable to return for a significant amount of time.


Kansas City Chiefs

Last season the Chiefs endured the loss of their star running back Jamaal Charles, who tore his ACL in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. This was the second ACL tear of Charles' career and he had accumulated 364 yards and four touchdowns last season before his injury.

Although the Chiefs finished the 2015 season with a playoff berth without Charles, the team should be excited about the return of the franchise's all-time leading rusher. According to Pete Sweeney of, Charles was activated from the PUP list Tuesday morning.

Charles will begin practicing with limited reps as he continues to recover from his ACL tear. This couldn't happen at a better time for Kansas City considering running back Charcandrick West has been out and is considered day-to-day with an elbow injury.

The Chiefs rookie offensive tackle Zach Sterup has been suspended four games for the use of PEDs.

Charles will turn 30 years old this year, look for him to attempt to pick up where he left off last season. The Chiefs have a solid roster and with Charles back, should continue to be relevant in the AFC West.


San Diego Chargers

In 2015 the Chargers selected Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon with the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Gordon had a lot of hype surrounding him after leaving Wisconsin, but failed to produce a single touchdown in his rookie season.

After a year of waiting, Gordon finally achieved his first touchdown in the NFL, albeit in the preseason. Quarterback Philip Rivers connected with Gordon on a pass out of the backfield where the running back was able to showcase his speed in the open field.

This is a positive sign for the Chargers, the team should still expect to see production from the sophomore player. Gordon said, "I calmed myself down, was focused on my reads, trusted (the line) and tried to make the best of what I can do," via

In other news, the Chargers still can't seem to reach a contract agreement with defensive end Joey Bosa. Going into the team's second preseason game, the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is listed as the third option at the defensive end position. Who knows when Bosa will eventually make his NFL debut, but until then the Chargers will continue to soldier on without him.

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