NFL Nation: Frankie Hammond Jr.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some quick observations from the opening practice of the Kansas City Chiefs' three-day rookie camp on Saturday:
  • Quarterback Aaron Murray, a fifth-round pick from Georgia, was a full participant. Murray wore a brace on his left knee but moved around well. He is only six months removed from surgery after tearing knee ligaments last fall. Murray's first pass was deflected and intercepted by linebacker Dee Ford, the first-round draft pick. Murray made some nice throws, none better than a fade pass that was caught down the left sideline by former Missouri receiver Jerrell Jackson. But heMurray also threw a number of interceptions.
  • Ford, of Auburn, signed his contract moments before the start of practice. All six draft picks are now signed and the Chiefs still have two months before the start of training camp.
  • Fourth-round pick De'Anthony Thomas of Oregon lined up in a variety of spots, mostly as a running back. These three days of practices will be all Thomas can participate in until the mandatory minicamp in the middle of June. School is still in session at Oregon.
  • Sixth-round offensive lineman Zach Fulton of Tennessee and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were on the first-team offensive line -- Fulton at right guard and Duvernay-Tardif at right tackle. Duvernay-Tardif jumped the snap count twice.
  • A handful of veterans are participating in rookie camp. That list includes wide receivers Weston Dressler and Frankie Hammond Jr. and tight end Demetrius Harris.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thursday's injury report revealed an ankle injury to Dexter McCluster, who did not practice.

If McCluster isn't available to play Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland, the Kansas City Chiefs could survive without him as a slot receiver. He is third on the Chiefs with 46 catches but Junior Hemingway has played well there in his limited opportunities.

It would hurt the Chiefs the most in the kicking game. McCluster has returned two punts for touchdowns this season, including a 74-yarder against the Washington Redskins. He has returned all 54 punts for the Chiefs and has all of their seven fair catches.

The Chiefs have no obvious candidate on their active roster to replace him. They claimed Kyle Williams off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the season, but he injured a knee after playing in only one game and is out for the season.

Chad Hall returned a few punts for Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles a couple of seasons ago, but the Chiefs released Hall last week.

Without McCluster, the Chiefs had a collection of practice squad players shagging punts Thursday. The most obvious choice among them is rookie Frankie Hammond Jr. He did a decent job returning punts in the preseason.