Around the AFC West

Two Kansas City Chiefs players find themselfves in hot water, Jerry Rice takes over as the Broncos third receiver and the field goal woes in San Diego continue. All this and more as Broncos Update takes a look around the AFC West.

Kansas City Chiefs -
Just over twenty-four hours after the Kansas City Chiefs dropped a 27-16 preseason opener to the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, safety Greg Wesley and defensive tackle Junior Siavii, were arrested after a confrontation with police in a downtown Minneapolis hotel.

According to an article published on WarpaintIllustrated.com, Wesley was charged with one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct while Siavii was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of fifth-degree assault. Siavii, who was described as being intoxicated, allegedly threw objects and yelled obscenities at a hotel security guard.

Police reports indicate that Wesley blocked the exit and then charged the officers while Siavii was being handcuffed. The officers were forced to spray Wesley with mace, and then placed him under arrest. A spit hood was placed over Siavii's head after he allegedly spit in the direction of the officers and refused to get into the police car.

San Diego Chargers -
Despite missing three consecutive field goals in a 10-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding is not in any danger of losing his position with the team, according to head coach Marty Shottenheimer.

The Chargers head coach spoke briefly with the media and asserted that Kaeding was "in a slump," but was not in danger of being released.

"I don't know that there is anybody that could come in here and give him legitimate competition," Schottenheimer said. "He competes against himself as most people that are involved in a single task. If a guy makes a mistake on offense or defense, there are 10 other people who may have had a hand in that. When you're out there as a placekicker, it's just you, just like a golfer."

Kaeding troubles date back to Jan. 8th when he missed a 40-yard attempt with 4:19 left in overtime of a wild-card playoff game against the New York Jets. Add in the misses this preseason and the Chargers kicker is 0-4 in his last two games.

"I don't have much of an explanation, it's a tough feeling, Kaeding told reporters.

"It's something that I have been living with for five months and I've set myself up for a difficult course coming up. It's putting my character to a test."

Oakland Raiders -
Team officials will be keeping a close eye this week on punter Shane Lechler and receiver Jerry Porter, both of whom are currently sidelined with hamstring injuries.

Lechler, who led the league last season with a 46.7-yard punting average, was injured in the Raiders 21-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, when he attempted to field a bad snap from backup long snapper Kenny Smith.

"Shane has a slight hamstring pull and will probably be limited this week," head coach Norv Turner said. Team trainers did not feel that the injury was too serious, but Turner admitted "I wouldn't expect him to punt this week."

With Oakland scheduled to leave for Houston this week to take part in joint practices, it is doubtful that the fifth-year punter will make the trip, electing to remain at the teams' training facility in Napa CA. to nurse his injury.

Porter will also sit out the Houston practices as well as Saturday's game against the Texans, while he continues to work with trainers to rehab his right leg. The six-year veteran has been sidelined since Aug. 1, when he was hurt during team scrimmages.

In 2004 Porter set career high numbers, leading the team in receptions with 64 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns, falling just short of his first 1,000-yard season.

Although a free agent after last season, he was resigned by the Raiders after agreeing to a five-year deal worth a reported $20 million.

Denver Broncos -
Future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice moved up the Broncos depth chart on Monday, and is now slotted as the third receiver behind Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie.

Rice, who played briefly in Saturday's 20-14 win over the Houston Texans, beat out Darrius Watts for the position after Watts dropped several key passes, a problem that plagued the second-year veteran throughout 2004.

Despite working hard throughout the off season Watts has struggled with ball control. During the first quarter the former Marshal standout dropped two perfect passes from Jake Plummer and another from backup quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt midway through the second.

"I thought I'd been doing pretty good" in training camp, he told reporters. "But I had a bad game."

That ‘bad game' proved costly, and with the NFL greatest receiver waiting in the wings, it became an obvious choice for the Broncos.

Although still nursing a sore foot, Rice is expected to see considerably more playing time this Saturday when the Broncos host his former team the San Francisco 49ers.



Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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