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AFC West Roundup: News & Notes

The Oakland Raiders starting quarterback job remains available.

The Oakland Raiders starting quarterback job remains available.

With just one preseason game left on the slate for each team, the NFL regular season is painstakingly close. In a little more than a week football kicks off for real.

Ahead of next Thursday’s curtain-raiser, teams are fine-tuning their rosters, searching for any advantage possible. That means news is coming thick and fast. To keep you up-to-date, here are the latest goings on in the AFC West, a division that will likely see much change this season.

Kansas City: TE Moeaki Injured

TE Tony Moeaki was injured in Saturday's game.

TE Tony Moeaki was injured in Saturday’s game.

The Kansas City Chiefs reported on Monday that TE Tony Moeaki suffered a shoulder fracture in Saturday’s overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Moeaki was the Chiefs’ second leading receiver last season, catching 33 passes for 453 yards and one touchdown in 15 games. Only Dwayne Bowe (801yds, 3TD) had more receiving yards. Moeaki hurt his shoulder catching a ball in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.

The fourth year tight end out of the University of Iowa has had injury problems in the past. He missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury sustained in the final preseason game.

The Chiefs acquired free agent TE Anthony Fasano in the offseason. Fasano spent five years with the Miami Dolphins after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. He caught 41 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns a year ago.

Most onlookers believed Fasano was to be the lead tight end this season, but Moeaki’s absence, which has yet to have a timescale attached to it, will leave a gap in pass protection.

The Chiefs (1-2) will host the Green Bay Packers (1-2) in Thursday’s preseason finale. Odds and trends for that game can be found here.

Oakland: QB Prior to Start Preseason Finale

Terrelle Pryor will start for the Raiders Thursday.

Terrelle Pryor will start for the Raiders Thursday.

The Oakland Tribune is reporting that QB Terrelle Pryor will start for the Oakland Raiders in Thursday’s final preseason game.

As previously observed by BettingSports.com, Pryor outplayed fellow QB Matt Flynn in Friday’s 34-26 loss to the Chicago Bears, leaving Head Coach Dennis Allen with a decision to make regarding a Week 1 starter. Pryor will get to prove his worth Thursday as the Raiders (1-2) travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks (3-0), one of only three teams with a perfect record this preseason.

Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks odds for 8/29/13 are available now.

After a turbulent college career at Ohio State, Pryor was drafted by the Raiders in the third round of the supplemental draft in 2011. The 24-year-old has appeared in four games for Oakland and started the final game of last season, going 13 for 28 for 150 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Flynn arrived in the Bay Area following a bit of a quarterback merry-go-round. Last year’s starter Carson Palmer was traded to the Arizona Cardinals before the Raiders traded with Seattle for Flynn, who lost the starting job to Russell Wilson ahead of last season.

San Diego: WR Floyd Back at Practice

Veteran Malcom Floyd returned to practice Monday.

Veteran Malcom Floyd returned to practice Monday.

The Chargers were happy to welcome WR Malcom Floyd back to practice on Monday. The veteran receiver had previously injured his knee two weeks ago and believed that his career may have been over.

MRIs turned out negative though, and having given the injured knee, as well as his ankle and hip, time to recover, Floyd returned to the practice field.

Last season, Floyd led the Chargers in receiving, catching 56 balls for 814 yards and five touchdowns. It was the first time in his eight years with the team that he had been the No. 1 receiver. Since joining the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2004, Floyd has compiled 3,984 yards receiving and 25 touchdowns.

The Chargers (1-2) will meet the San Francisco 49ers (2-1) on Thursday to close out this year’s preseason schedule. San Diego will be an underdog in this rematch of Super Bowl XXIX. Trends and odds for the game can be found here.

Denver: RB Ball Sees First-Team Practice

Rookie Montee Ball is practicing with the first team.

Rookie Montee Ball is practicing with the first team.

With just nine days to go until a season curtain-raiser against the Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos’ coaching staff may have tipped its hand, at least in terms of this year’s backfield.

The Denver Post is reporting that rookie RB Montee Ball has begun receiving first team reps at practice. Up until this point, second-year back Ronnie Hillman has looked to be in pole postion for the starting role.

The Broncos are looking to replace last year’s starter Willis McGahee, who was waived on June 16. McGahee, who led the Broncos in rushing each of the last two seasons, was injured in Week 11 last season and missed the remainder of the campaign.

Ball was drafted in the second round (58th overall) of this year’s draft after leading the Wisconsin Badgers in rushing for two straight years. Hillman appeared in 14 games for Denver last season, recording 327 yards and one touchdown as he backed up McGahee and Knowshon Moreno.

Denver (2-1) will host Arizona (2-1) in the preseason finale on Thursday. Both Ball and Hillman will be hoping to start. Odds and trends for that game can be found here.

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