Brandon Flowers Cleared to Play, and Other AFC West News

Christopher Hansen@ChrisHansenNFLNFL AnalystSeptember 14, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs tackles Patrick Turner #88 of the New York Jets  during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs struggled on defense in their opening loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Four defensive starters missed the game: Tamba Hali, Anthony Toribio, Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers. It's tough for any defense to overcome that type of loss all at once.

Hali will return from his one-game suspension, but the Chiefs could also have Flowers—their No. 1 cornerback—on the field against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. 

Flowers has been cleared to play, according to head coach Romeo Crennel (via Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star). Flowers suffered a heel injury during training camp and missed all of the preseason in addition to Week 1.

Flowers isn't 100 percent, but he fully participated in practice on Thursday. It's Flowers' decision whether to play or not against the Bills. Usually when a team puts the decision on a player, it expects the player to play, so it would be surprising if he didn't, especially considering the issue the Chiefs had with Jacques Reeves last week.

Outside of a little pressure from Justin Houston at times, the Chiefs didn't get any pressure on Matt Ryan last week, and he picked apart Kansas City's depleted secondary. With Hali back from suspension and the potential return of Flowers, the Chiefs could get their defense back on track this Sunday.

Here's a quick tour around the rest of the AFC West.


Kansas City reporter Rachel Santschi talks to five players about the upcoming game against the Bills. 



Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has posted the complete transcript of his talk with general manager Reggie McKenzie. has posted the video and transcript of defensive coordinator Jason Tarver's Thursday media session. 



Mark Kisla of The Denver Post writes that there's no place like "dome" for Peyton Manning.

Jeff Legwold of The Denver Post explains how Manning and Matt Ryan are among the best examples of the play-now philosophy.


San Diego

Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Ryan Mathews returned to practice in helmet and pads and has been cleared for contact.

Gehlken reports that it could be practice squad cornerback Greg Gatson who earns a promotion, with the Chargers down to two healthy cornerbacks.