Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster (ankle) has been downgraded from questionable to out and will not make the trip to Oakland, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday morning via phone conversation.
While that’s bad news for a special teams unit that has hit its stride in the past two games, the good news surrounds the team confirming McCluster does not have MRSA.
McCluster’s infected ankle surfaced during Friday’s media session when Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder addressed reporters.
Burkholder said McCluster’s infection came as a result of a cut on his ankle suffered in Washington.
And the Chiefs immediately followed protocol for infections when McCluster made his injury known on Wednesday, according to Burkholder.
After team physician Cris Barnthouse performed a “minor procedure” to clean out the wound and treated it with antibiotics, the Chiefs listed McCluster as questionable on Friday’s official NFL Injury Report.
McCluster, who set a team record in Week 14 with 177 total punt return yards on seven attempts, including a 74-yard return for a touchdown, did not practice Thursday and Friday.
With the team’s leading punt returner sidelined, the Chiefs could turn to either wide receiver Chad Hall or safety Quintin Demps to fill in for McCluster against the Oakland Raiders.
“Well you have Chad and Quintin that can do it,” coach Andy Reid said during Friday’s media session. “Chad has been working it the whole time as has Quintin so we’ll just see how that goes.”
The Chiefs on Friday re-signed Hall after previously releasing him on Dec. 7.