Sam Darnold’s return, Chiefs’ run defense, Todd Gurley’s health

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As we turn toward Week 6 of the 2019 NFL season,’s network of reporters provides the hottest news and notes from across the league, including:
— One problem that continues to dog the Chiefs.
— How the Rams will try to slow the 49ers.
— What the Vikings have planned for Carson Wentz.
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DENVER BRONCOS: Emphasis on pounding the rock. The Broncos knew leading up to their Week 5 trip to L.A. that they could close out the Chargers with a solid ground game if given the opportunity.
Denver did indeed use the running game to great effect in its 20-13 victory over the Bolts, rushing for a season-high 191 yards and eating six minutes of clock time to start the fourth quarter on a possession in which six of the team’s 11 plays were runs.
“We actually watched a clip, honestly, when the Rams were playing them and Todd Gurley ended up milking the clock and they just ran the ball down,” running back Phillip Lindsay, who is averaging 4.7 yards per carry this season, said this week. “He was able to get it to like the whole game was over with seven minutes (remaining). He (offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello) showed that clip and said this is what we’re going to have to do if we’re going to win the game.”
That Chargers-Rams game Scangarello showed his team was from Week 3 of last season. The Rams held the ball for the final 4:23 of the their 35-23 win, running nine plays (five straight runs from Gurley, two from Malcolm Brown and two Jared Goff kneeldowns) to end the game.
“We knew we were going to have to run the ball just like this week,” Lindsay said of Sunday’s game vs. the Titans. “We’re going to have to run the ball to win games and as you get going later on as it gets colder you have to run the ball. In the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball. Everybody knows that. There’s no secret.”
— James Palmer
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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: D still dealing with running problem. The Kansas City Chiefs thought they had their run-defense issues solved. They used the offseason to hire a new defensive coordinator (Steve Spagnuolo) to install a new scheme (the 4-3 replaced the 3-4) that would utilize the strengths of several new players (most notably, defensive end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu). However, the Chiefs ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed heading into Week 6 after finishing 27th in that category last season.

Kansas City has allowed at least 180 rushing yards in each of its last three games, including last week’s

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