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Chiefs move on with Moore while Mahomes rehabs injury

Sat Oct 19 5:57pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, Mecole Hardman

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore smiles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore (8) throws as Denver Broncos defensive back Kareem Jackson (22) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Matt Moore spent his spring as a scouting assistant with the Miami Dolphins, and he spent most of the summer gearing up for a season as an assistant high school football coach.

He'll be spending his fall trying to keep the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl hunt.

The journeyman quarterback, who was signed on the eve of the regular season following an injury to backup Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne, has been thrust into the starting role after reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap in Thursday night's victory over the Broncos.

The injury happened as Mahomes was sneaking for a first down in the second quarter, and Moore played the rest of the way - his first meaningful snaps in two years - in an eventual 30-6 rout.

''You saw production from him for a number of years. He was in those situations where people would debate he should be the starter or the other guy should be the starter, wherever he as,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''You saw that ability to start football games and win.''

Now, his responsibility will be to keep the Chiefs (5-2) on the right track until Mahomes is able to return. An MRI taken Friday revealed no major damage to the ligaments in his right knee, and the team is hopeful that Mahomes could return in four to six weeks - roughly the amount of time until its bye.

''He's an inspirational guy,'' Moore said, when asked whether Mahomes said anything in the post-game locker room. ''He said a bunch of stuff about the team win, gave a bunch of props to the defense. The defense played outstanding. Just kind of brought us together and broke us down.''

The Chiefs actually came close to signing Moore before last season.

They were in search of a veteran backup for Mahomes, who was heading into his first season as the starter, and were wavering between Moore and Henne. They wound up selecting the latter, but Henne broke his ankle during a preseason game and the Chiefs decided to give Moore a chance.

He quickly picked up the intricate Kansas City offense over the first six weeks of the season, and he was good enough to keep the Broncos guessing the rest of the way Thursday night.

Moore wound up completing 10 passes for 117 yards with a 57-yard scoring strike to Tyreek Hill.

Most importantly, he didn't throw a pick or make any big mistakes.

''I was devastated for (Mahomes), obviously. He's been down and popped up pretty quick,'' Moore said. ''This one obviously wasn't that case. So I just hope he's OK. At the same time, we have to go and win a football game, and I've been in this position before and you just kind of move forward.''

Moore went 15-15 in 30 starts with the Panthers and Dolphins, and he appeared in 51 games in all over the course of 10 seasons with them. Adds his totals from Thursday night and he's thrown for more than 7,000 yards with 46 touchdown passes and 36 interceptions.

Along with experience, he also appears to have the support of a locker room full of star players who expect nothing short of a championship. Hill is back from an earlier collarbone injury, and Kansas City could get more offensive reinforcements back soon - wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring), left tackle Eric Fisher (groin) and left guard Andrew Wylie (ankle) are making progress.

''With Pat out everybody has to step up to a whole other level. When the MVP goes down everybody has to step up,'' wide receiver Mecole Hardman said. ''We did that. Matt came in and did a great job. I think the O-line picked it up a bit. It's the next man up.''

The Chiefs also have a little extra time for Moore to get settled. They played the Broncos on Thursday night, and their next game doesn't come until they face the Packers a week from Sunday.

''Matt has been in the league for a long time. We have trust in him,'' Hardman said. ''We just had to go out there and play and keep everything the same. We can't dwell on it and get down.''

Player Notes
Demetrius Harris Feb 19 9:00pm ET

The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a one-year deal with tight end Demetrius Harris on Wednesday, according to sources. Harris was cut by the Browns recently and spent time with head coach Matt Nagy when they were both with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old caught just 15 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 despite David Njoku missing most of the year with an injury in Cleveland. Chicago was looking to upgrade their tight end room after both Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen missed large chunks of last season due to injuries. Harris will have an opportunity with his new team, but it's still unlikely he has a huge pass-catching role is Burton and Shaheen are on the field.

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Jordan Reed Feb 19 3:10pm ET

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol and intends to continue his playing career in 2020, according to sources. Reed suffered a reported seventh concussion of his career in the preseason and didn't play at all in 2019. He expects to be released by the Redskins in the coming days, but he wants to continue playing. Washington would save $8.5 million against the salary cap if they release Reed by June 1, and he would count $10.3 million toward the cap if he stays. Only 29 years old, it remains to be seen if he has anything left if he keeps playing after the 'Skins inevitably release him. It will depend on where he lands, but Reed probably won't even be touched as a TE2 in fall drafts.

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Josh Rosen Feb 19 3:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen is likely to remain with the team heading into the 2020 season. However, his future in Miami doesn't look bright with Ryan Fitzpatrick coming back for another year and the Dolphins widely expected to take a franchise signal-caller with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the draft. It's clear that the team doesn't view Rosen, 23, as the future under center at this point. The former 2018 first-round pick was acquired from the Cardinals before last season, but he couldn't beat out Fitzpatrick and will have to learn another new offense, one that Fitzpatrick is familiar with. Unless something unexpected happens this summer, Rosen will open up the 2020 season holding a clipboard again.

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Will Dissly Feb 19 2:50pm ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (Achilles), who is coming off a torn Achilles that ended his 2019 season prematurely, is expected to be ready for Week 1. Dissly was on the fantasy map as a TE1 with 23 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns in six games before his injury, but he's played in just 10 games in his two seasons with Seattle because of injuries. On top of that, the Seahawks signed veteran Greg Olsen on Wednesday. Olsen and Dissly could form a strong one-two punch at tight end in 2020, but Dissly is unlikely to be a consistent fantasy performer unless Olsen misses time with an injury, which is entirely possible.

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Stefon Diggs Feb 19 2:40pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings aren't releasing wide receiver Stefon Diggs, although they could get calls from other teams to see if they are interested in trading him. But the odds remain long that Diggs would be traded, as he's under contract through 2023 with reasonable salaries. This comes after Diggs removed Vikings photos from his social media. Minnesota is also in win-now mode, so they'll need Diggs to remain a contender going into the 2020 season and beyond. The 26-year-old can be a bit much at times, but he put up his second straight 1,000-yard season last year and added six touchdowns and a career-high 17.9 yards per catch. He produced for fantasy owners with Adam Thielen (hamstring) nursing an injury last year and should be a solid WR2 target going into fall drafts.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Feb 19 1:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said the team will be changing some things in quarterback Baker Mayfield's footwork this offseason "to help him." One specific thing is that they will have Mayfield put his left foot in front instead of his right foot out of the shotgun when he takes the snap. Van Pelt thinks it will help Mayfield be more fluid in his three-stop drop out of the shotgun formation. High expectations were placed on Mayfield and the Browns in his second season, and he failed to live up to them, especially with Odell Beckham Jr. as his No. 1 receiver. There's still time for the 24-year-old to bounce back in a new offensive scheme, but fantasy owners will be drafting him as a QB2 this fall.

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Adrian Peterson Feb 19 12:10pm ET

The Washington Redskins exercised the 2020 team option on running back Adrian Peterson on Wednesday. Peterson led the team in attempts (211), rushing yards (898) and rushing touchdowns (five) in 2019 and will enter the 2020 season having started in 154 of the 164 games he's appeared in. The veteran is ranked eighth in NFL history in rushing attempts (3,036) and sixth in yards per game (86.7). He needs 1,054 rushing yards to pass Barry Sanders for fourth on the all-time list and needs 13 rushing TDs to pass Marcus Allen for No. 3. Peterson is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four time first-team All-Pro, but he'll take a back seat to Derrius Guice next year if Guice can stay healthy.

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Greg Olsen Feb 19 9:59am ET

The Seattle Seahawks are signing former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million deal on Tuesday, according to a source. The deal includes $5.5 million in guarantees. Olsen visited with the Bills and Redskins before making the decision to go to Seattle. Will Dissly ruptured his Achilles in 2019, Ed Dickson is a candidate to be released and Luke Willson (unrestricted) and Jacob Hollister (restricted) are free agents. Olsen, a three-time Pro Bowler in 13 NFL seasons, should be the team's primary pass-catching tight end and will have low-end TE1 value with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing him passes. He was the first tight end in history to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons from 2014-16, but the 34-year-old (35 in March) has dealt with injuries in recent seasons.

Jadeveon Clowney Feb 19 12:53am ET

Impending free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) once to be one of the highest-paid defensive players - if not the highest-paid - with a contract that will set the market for his position, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

From TheHuddle

Jason Witten Feb 18 11:33pm ET

Impending free-agent TE Jason Witten (Cowboys) made it clear to reporters Tuesday, Feb. 18, that he intends to play next season and hopes to do so with the Dallas Cowboys, although he is not opposed to finishing his career somewhere else. He is hoping to make a more concrete decision about his future following the NFL Scouting Combine next week.

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Jason Witten Feb 18 10:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who will be a free agent next month, wants to play another season and hopes he can remain with the Cowboys. However, Witten understands that he might have to go elsewhere if he wants to play in a 17th NFL season. The veteran tight end has met with new head coach Mike McCarthy and has talked with owners Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones. Witten hauled in 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 2019 in his return from a one-year absence from the game. He's headed into his age-38 season, and while he can still give something to a team, he won't be anything more than a touchdown-dependent, low-end TE2 if he plays again in 2020 for the Cowboys or another squad.

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Shaquil Barrett Feb 18 9:03pm ET

Impending free-agent LB Shaquil Barrett (Buccaneers) could receive in upwards of $20 million per season on his next contract, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may ultimately decide to use the franchise tag on him if the two sides are unable to come to a long-term agreement before the start of free agency.

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Joe Flacco Feb 18 8:53pm ET

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Kareem Hunt Feb 18 8:53pm ET

Impending free-agent RB Kareem Hunt 'expects to be in the (Cleveland) Browns' plans next year,' according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

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Shaquil Barrett Feb 18 8:30pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make an attempt to re-sign linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL in 2019 with 19.5 sacks in his first year with the team. Barrett, who is scheduled to be a free agent in March, would be looking at potentially $20 million per season on the open market, so it won't be easy for the Buccaneers to retain him. If they choose to, Tampa could place the franchise tag on Barrett to ensure that he's around for at least one more season. In addition to the 19.5 sacks, the 27-year-old pass rusher had a career-high 58 tackles (45 solo), six forced fumbles and one interception. In his four seasons with Denver prior to 2019, Barrett had a combined 14 sacks.

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An MRI exam taken on Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (back) last week showed encouraging results, but his agent, Joe Linta, is seeking a second opinion from spine specialist Dr. Andrew Dossett. "Joe has every intention to play but not at the risk of his long-term health," Linta said Tuesday. Flacco went on season-ending Injured Reserve with a bulging disc in his neck after the team's eighth game of last season. The veteran QB has two years at $20.25 million and $24.25 million left on his contract, which will be way too high as a backup quarterback. The Broncos could either restructure Flacco's contract, trade him or release him. The 35-year-old would be Drew Lock's backup in Denver if he stays, and he'd be auditioning for a backup job on the open market as well, most likely.

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Younghoe Koo Feb 18 8:20pm ET

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Kareem Hunt Feb 18 8:10pm ET

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Greg Olsen Feb 18 6:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Olsen turns 35 in March and has a history of injuries in recent seasons, which makes him a risky option in any fantasy setting. The addition helps QB Russell Wilson the most and hurts TE Will Dissly (Achilles), whose outlook already was questionable after consecutive seasons ending due to major injuries. Olsen is a fringe starter in 12-team fantasy leagues but has limited upside, substantial risk, and figures to be inconsistent given all of Seattle's other ways to attack.

From TheHuddle

Taysom Hill Feb 18 2:40pm ET

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