2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ailing Chiefs Moeaki, Avery back in practice

    2013-07-24 15:34

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By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Tony Moeaki spent most of the Kansas City Chiefs' offseason workouts watching from the sideline with a baseball cap on his head. Donnie Avery did the same thing.

They're both happy to have a helmet on instead.

Moeaki had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after last season, keeping the tight end from participating in the first round of practices under new coach Andy Reid. Avery only managed to get in a couple workouts before a high ankle sprain sidelined the wide receiver.

``Good, it's good to be back out here. It was a long offseason,'' Moeaki said after a workout Wednesday on the campus of Missouri Western. ``The training staff did a great job of getting me back and I'm just excited to be out here.''

Moeaki is no stranger to the Chiefs' training staff.

He has a history of injury problems dating back to his college days at Iowa, and that hasn't changed with the Chiefs. He missed time his rookie season with a head injury, and then missed the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL. He was bothered by a shoulder injury last season, too.

He can't afford to miss any time under a new regime.

Reid and new general manager John Dorsey aggressively sought to upgrade the tight end position during the offseason, luring away free agent Anthony Fasano from the Miami Dolphins and then drafting Travis Kelce in the third round to provide a downfield threat.

The Chiefs envision using their tight ends much as the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions have done the past few years - as bulldozers, for Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, and as options in the passing game for new quarterback Alex Smith.

``They like to use the tight ends, move us around, so we just have to be prepared and ready to go every day,'' Moeaki said. ``There's some carry-over (in terminology), but football is football.''

Moeaki has been a reliable receiver when healthy, catching 80 passes for 1,009 yards and four touchdowns. But he's only played in 29 games over three seasons - and now has competition.

``We have a great tight end group,'' Moeaki said. ``Just have to keep working hard, keep paying attention in the meetings. Every year, everyone is fighting for a starting spot. I'm just coming out here - I'm not putting expectations on myself. I'm just trying to do the best I can.''

Avery doesn't have to worry about his place on the team.

The Chiefs cut Steve Breaston during the offseason, and signed Avery to become the slot wide receiver and speedy deep threat that Breaston never was. But his start in Reid's system has been slowed by an ankle sprain sustained more than two months ago.

``The first two days I'm a little sore, but I feel good. Good to get back and get my feet wet again,'' Avery said. ``I'm glad I'm here, getting good chemistry with the quarterback and getting more reps than I would in training camp, so I'm happy.''

Avery was drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Rams, and had a couple of productive seasons before tearing his own ACL and missing the 2010 season. He played sparingly for the Titans a couple years ago but started to show flashes of his speed last season in Indianapolis.

He caught 60 passes for 781 yards and three touchdowns.

``Whatever my role is, I'm here to play it,'' Avery said. ``Coach came and got me for a reason.''

Moeaki and Avery have been joined in practice this week by running back Shaun Draughn, who was dealing with a sports hernia during the offseason program. Because they were injured, they're eligible to report along with the rookies before the rest of the squad arrives on Thursday.

``I'm fine. I had surgery in May, did rehab - a lot of rehab over the summer - during OTAs and I'm good as new,'' Draughn said. ``I'm trying to get my mind back right with the plays.''

Draughn knows the valuable of training camp. He arrived last season trying to work his way into the mix, made a splash in the eyes of former coach Romeo Crennel and wound up playing in all 16 games. He had 233 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and caught 24 passes for 158 yards.

``Every day you have to take advantage of,'' he said, ``and it's the same thing this year.''

Notes: Rookie Tyler Bray continued to take snaps ahead of Ricky Stanzi in the race to be the No. 3 QB. ... Rookie S Sanders Commings had his left arm in a sling after breaking his collarbone in practice on Tuesday. ... The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Friday.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

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Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

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Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

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Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

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John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

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Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

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