Chiefs wide receiver/punt returner Dexter McCluster did not practice on Thursday because of an ankle injury. McCluster, who returned punts for a franchise-record 177 yards in last Sunday’s win at Washington, was not on the injury report on Wednesday.
McCluster has returned all 54 punts for the Chiefs this season. Quintin Demps, the club’s primary kickoff return man, is listed as the backup punt returner.
Left tackle Branden Albert (hyperextended knee) and McCluster were the only two players who did not practice. Albert missed his second day of practice, making it likely he’ll miss his second straight game this week.
Tight end Anthony Fasano (concussion) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (elbow), who missed last week’s game at Washington, participated in individual drills but were limited during the team portion of practice.
The Raiders said running back Darren McFadden (ankle), running back Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee) and defensive tackle Vance Walker (concussion) did not practice. Wide receiver Denarius Moore (shoulder) and linebacker Sio Moore (neck) were limited.
The Chiefs, befitting a team with one of the best records in the NFL, are among the league leaders in balloting for this season’s Pro Bowl.
Running back Jamaal Charles continues to rank among the top-five vote-getters for the 2014 Pro Bowl, and outside linebacker Tamba Hali, offensive tackle Branden Albert and punter Dustin Colquitt are the top vote-getters at their positions.
Chiefs guard Jeff Allen, nose tackle Dontari Poe and strong safety Eric Berry are the second-leading vote-getters at their position.
With two weeks remaining in the balloting, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning leads all players with 1,093,691 votes, followed by New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, with 934,772 votes.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch (745,286 votes), Charles (739,971) and Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson (739,701) round out the top five.
The Pro Bowl players will be announced on Friday, Dec. 27. Players will later be assigned to teams through the first-ever Pro Bowl Draft instead of the traditional AFC vs. NFC format. The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 26, 2014 in Honolulu.Raiders use two QBs
Rookie free agent quarterback Matt McGloin took over as the Raiders quarterback on Nov. 17 after Terrelle Pryor suffered an injury, and the job still belongs to McGloin even though Pryor is healthy again.
Pryor, who started and was sacked nine times in the Raiders’ 27-7 to the Chiefs on Oct. 13, played one series in last week’s loss to the Jets and is expected to see similar duty this week. One factor in McGloin’s favor is that he has been sacked just five times in his five games; Pryor was sacked 29 times in his nine games.
“Matt has come in and done a nice job,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s really taken command of the offense and moved us down the field, and we’ve been able to score some points with Matt in there. We just kind of continued to go with the hot hand.”
McGloin was undrafted out of Penn State but rose to the top of the depth chart ahead of Matt Flynn, who was signed as a free agent and eventually released; and rookie Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round pick from Arkansas who is on the practice squad.
“Yeah, they drafted a guy, they brought in a guy to be a starter and I was fourth on the depth chart,” McGloin said. “At the same time, I didn’t really pay too much attention to who was ahead of me and who was behind me or who they had brought in.
“All I could control was how I performed, how I approached every game, how I approached the playbook, and I just made the most of the opportunity that I got and made the most of the reps that I got.”Succop’s outer limits
Even after Denver’s Matt Prater made an NFL-record 64-yard field goal last Sunday, Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said the staff had no regrets about not letting kicker Ryan Succop try one from that distance when they had the chance at the end of the first half on Nov. 17 at Denver.
“Succop’s an accurate guy,” Toub said “but he doesn’t have the Prater leg. He’ll be the first one to tell you. That was a great kick by (Prater). That was impressive.”
Succop, the most accurate kicker in Chiefs history (81.9 percent) has made 21 of 25 field goals this season with a long of 51 yards. His career long is 54 yards in a home game against Minnesota.
Toub said the higher altitude in Denver adds about five yards to a kick.
“That’s what I’ve seen with Succop,” Toub said, “and it was like that for (Chicago’s) Robbie Gould when we went there, too.”