Sat Oct 19 5:57pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
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.''
New England Patriots rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry (ankle) is expected to make his NFL debut in Week 11 against the Eagles. The first-round pick has been practicing since Oct. 15 and was placed on the active roster before the Week 9 game against the Ravens, but he didn't dress for that game. Harry has some obvious upside in New England, but he's missed a lot of development time and will be behind wideouts Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. There's a chance that Harry pushes Dorsett for playing time in three-receiver sets, but that may not happen right away, and he remains a long shot for meaningful production in redraft leagues down the stretch. Harry should be owned in all dynasty/keeper leagues, however.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in discussions for a long-term contract extension with tight end Zach Ertz, offensive tackle Lane Johnson and safety Malcolm Jenkins, according to league sources. Ertz signed his last extension in January of 2015 and has become one of the best tight ends in the league since then. Johnson is considered by some as the best right tackle in all of football, while Jenkins has emerged as a leader for Philly's defense. Despite somewhat of a down year in 2019, Ertz leads the Eagles in receptions (46) and yards (527) while finding the end zone just two times. With Alshon Jeffery (ankle) out in Week 11 against the Patriots, Ertz could be set up for another big game.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz has talked with the Eagles about a possible contract extension, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: Ertz is not posting the numbers he did last season but still has been a consistent starting option for fantasy players. He should be a weekly starting option in all leagues and likely will have a big role in the passing game this week with Alshon Jeffery sidelined.
The Denver Broncos are expected to ride running back Phillip Lindsay more in the backfield over Royce Freeman in Week 11 against the Vikings on the road. Lindsay and Freeman have been in a near-even timeshare for most of the season, which has really given Lindsay owners headaches after his breakout rookie season in 2018. But Freeman had just 15 yards on five carries in the Week 9 win over the Browns, and it sounds as though Denver wants to get Lindsay more involved this week against a tough Minnesota run defense. Lindsay is the back to own, and he'll have more RB2 upside this week, although Denver's offense could struggle with Brandon Allen making his second start at quarterback.
Detroit Lions DT Damon Harrison (groin) is active for Week 11's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) may be sidelined for as many as six weeks because tiny, non-displaced fractures in the upper thoracic spine.
Fantasy Spin: It is not known if Stafford will be able to play again this season, so fantasy players will need to monitor the situation. Jeff Driskel will continue to be the starting quarterback but should be avoided in fantasy leagues.
Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson (hip) is active for Week 11's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (knee, illness, ribs) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) are both active for Week 11 against the Redskins. Bell continues to fight through injuries in a disappointing first season with Gang Green, but he has another opportunity to break out against a weak Redskins front. He'll have low-end RB1/high-end RB2 appeal. If Bell can't get it done today for fantasy owners, there's not much hope that he'll be an RB1 the rest of the way. Thomas had a decent day in Week 10 but remains third on the receiver depth chart behind Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson. Despite the good matchup, Thomas is a low-upside WR4/5 in deeper fantasy leagues.
The Buffalo Bills have declared TE Tommy Sweeney, WR Duke Williams, OL Ike Boettger, OT Ryan Bates, DT Vincent Taylor, S Dean Marlowe and RB T.J. Yeldon inactive for Week 11.
The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, LB Jordan Kunaszyk, CB Ross Cockrell, DL Kyle Love, WR Brandon Zylstra, OT Dennis Daley and RB Mike Davis inactive for Week 11.
New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is active for Week 11's game against the Washington Redskins.
Minnesota Vikings S Andrew Sendejo will start Week 11's game against the Denver Broncos in place of injured S Anthony Harris (groin).
New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell (illness, knee, ribs) is officially active for the team's Week 11 game.
Fantasy Spin: Bell has been a big part of the offense for the Jets and should continue to receive a significant amount of touches. He will have a favorable matchup this week and is a must-start option in all leagues.
Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) is expected to play in Week 11 against the Ravens, according to a source. Tunsil missed the Week 9 game but was able to heal up during the Week 10 bye. His presence is great news for the protection of quarterback Deshaun Watson in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair between two potent offenses. As usual, Watson will be a top-five fantasy quarterback on Sunday despite not having wide receiver Will Fuller in the fold.
The Atlanta Falcons have declared FS Kemal Ishmael, DT Deadrin Senat, TE Austin Hooper, DL John Cominsky, WR Brandon Powell, RB Devonta Freeman and OL Matt Gono inactive for Week 11.
The Dallas Cowboys have declared OT Connor Williams, DT Trysten Hill, LB Luke Gifford, FS Jeff Heath, WR Cedrick Wilson, DE Joe Jackson and WR Devin Smith inactive for Week 11.
The Indianapolis Colts have declared CB Pierre Desir, CB Quincy Wilson, OT Le'Raven Clark, WR T.Y. Hilton, RB Jordan Wilkins, QB Chad Kelly and WR Parris Campbell inactive for Week 11.
The Washington Redskins have declared DT Tim Settle, CB Deshazor Everett, WR Paul Richardson, OG Ross Pierschbacher, RB Chris Thompson, TE Vernon Davis and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 11.
The New Orleans Saints have declared WR Deonte Harris, OT Andrus Peat, WR Austin Carr, DE Carl Granderson, OT Ethan Greenidge, TE Dan Arnold and CB Marshon Lattimore inactive for Week 11.
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is expected to remain the starter in Week 11 against the Jets despite Derrius Guice (knee) returning for the first time since the season opener, according to a source. It's likely that Guice receives his carries and catches on third down to start. His role could grow as the season wears on, but he won't make Peterson a healthy scratch like he was in Week 1 when Jay Gruden was still the head coach. Peterson has seen at least 18 touches in three of the last four games and has gone over 100 yards in two of them. He remains the starter, but he'll inevitably lose valuable touches to Guice, making him a low-upside RB3 in a low-scoring offense led by a rookie quarterback. Guice has even less appeal as a desperation RB3/flex in PPR formats after a long layoff.