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AFC West Whispers

Raiders desperate for run-stopping help

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By PFW staff

We've been hearing the following whispers around the AFC West:

• Raiders DT John Henderson is expected be out until at least mid-November while he recovers from a stress fracture in his right foot. There are concerns that his recovery will take longer than it would for other players because of Henderson's great size (6-7, 335 pounds). The Raiders are desperate for help when it comes to stopping the run, which is why they signed Henderson in the offseason.

• Once OLT Marcus McNeill makes his return to the field in Week Six, the Chargers could have an intriguing battle on their hands on the other side of the line. We hear that Brandyn Dombrowski, who had been starting at left tackle, could compete with ORT Jeromey Clary for his starting spot. Long considered the line's weak spot, Clary likely would come out on the losing end of the competition if his play doesn't improve.

• Something in particular that Chiefs head coach Todd Haley studied during the team's bye week was the number of plays that players had been on the field during the first three games. What he said he learned was that certain guys were seeing too many snaps in the same situations, such as CB Brandon Flowers on defense and RB Jackie Battle on special teams. One of Haley's goals for the rest of the season will be to balance things in order not to overwork key contributors.

• Broncos DE Kevin Vickerson's smashmouth style of play is what earned him a starting spot on Denver's defensive line. We hear Vickerson, who was cut by the Seahawks on Sept. 6 and played for Tennessee prior to that, carries a Titans mentality of playing all out. The 6-foot-5, 321-pounder takes up space with his size and still has the athleticism to penetrate and get to the quarterback.

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