Dexter McCluster is lining up in about every conceivable spot under the rules for an eligible receiver. McCluster has been getting the ball often at training camp, sparking hope among the Chiefs that McCluster can live up to his potential.
“One million, five hundred and thirty-six ways that I can get the football,’’ McCluster said of his role in the Chiefs’ offense. “This offense is wide-open. You get opportunities everywhere. It’s a fun offense.’’
McCluster delivered one of the big plays in practice Saturday when he got open deep down the middle to catch a pass from Alex Smith.
“My job (on that play) is to blow the top off the defense, clear the safety and run as fast as I can to open it up for the next guy,’’ McCluster said. “But my number was called. It fell right into my hands. The quarterback made a nice throw and I ultimately made a nice catch.
For a team that has worked six straight days in full pads and is doing plenty of hitting at practice, the Chiefs have done a remarkable job of staying away from long-term injuries. The Chiefs lost rookie defensive back Sanders Commings because of a broken collarbone in the first practice at camp. Commings was in the Chiefs’ plans for their pass defense, so his departure is a loss.
Rookie offensive lineman Colin Kelly is done for the season because of a knee injury, but he wasn’t going to make the team, anyway.
Otherwise, the injuries have been small and of the nagging variety. The same seven players — running back Cyrus Gray (foot), offensive linemen Donald Stephenson (finger) and Tommie Draheim (concussion), linebacker Mike Catapano (calf) and defensive backs Sanders Commings (collarbone), Husain Abdullah (groin) and Malcolm Bronson (knee) — have missed practice for two straight days but none loom big in the Chiefs’ plans. The most important player in the group is Stephenson, a backup.A Chiefs reunion
Offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins, signed as a free agent on Saturday, attended middle school with Chiefs safety Eric Berry, and they were teammates at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga.
Watkins played in college at South Carolina, and was a fifth-round draft pick by St. Louis in 2012 while Berry went to Tennessee and was the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2010.
“He’s like my brother,” Berry said. “He chills with my family. My dad calls him, ‘son.’ I was excited (to hear he signed with the Chiefs.) “I was upset when the Rams released him, and I told him to stay focused, it always works out for the best. I didn’t know he was going to end up three hours away from there and end up here.
“Just the fact we’re in the league and on the same team we’ve got so many people back home who look up to us and look at us as hope, to get to a different level and get out of the situation they’re in and how you can be successful.”
The Chiefs released offensive tackle Mike Tepper to clear roster room for Watkins. Tepper joined the Chiefs last week and practiced with them just twice before being released.