John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs vs. Raiders: If Dexter Can't Play, Who Steps Up?

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Dexter McCluster ranks second on the Chiefs in receptions and plays an integral role on special teams as Kansas City’s starting punt returner. But on Thursday, Dex popped up on the team’s injury report with an ankle injury and may not play this Sunday when the Chiefs take on the Raiders. Turns out, McCluster has a cut that’s become infected. The team hasn’t ruled out MRSA, and if indeed it is MRSA, McCluster could miss more than the game this weekend.

Quintin Demps is listed as the Chiefs’ second-team punt returner, and he’s proven to be more than capable in the return game. But how will the Chiefs replace Dexter’s average of 3.5 catches and 33.7 yards per game? I believe they have the answer, and I believe he’s been on this team all season.

No, I’m not referring to the recently re-signed Chad Hall. I’m talking about Junior “I led the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns during the preseason and have caught 73% of my targets” Hemingway.

I’m a big believer in Hemingway. Sure, he’s not the fastest guy (clocked at 4.53 in the 40 yard dash at the 2012 combine) but he catches the ball when it’s thrown to him, which is something that the Chiefs receivers are having trouble doing as of late.

It’s time Hemingway gets a heavier workload, and with Dex out, this could be the week we see it. What do you think, Addicts? Have you been as intrigued by Junior as I have? Would you like to see him get his shot? Sound off below.


Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Chad Hall Dexter McCluster Junior Hemingway Kansas City Chiefs Quintin Demps

  • jeffromac23

    I think his playing time should be increased every week. So far he has answered the call every time he has been called upon which in my opinion is not nearly enough.

  • Horace Lee Madre Jr

    I’ll take anybody who catches the ball. The QB get all of the good and bad credit for passing. It’s about time for one of our receivers to make Smith look good while looking good

    • micah stephenson

      That doesn’t happen. The wrs can’t make a QB look good but the QB can make the wrs look good.

      • Stan

        Another dig at Alex. Good try.

        • guest

          Atleast he is consistent. Lol


        I disagree , The receivers did their best to make Cassel look as good as possible as long as they were stuck with him

      • KCMikeG

        It’s a two way relationship and the more each QB AND WR bring to party the better the party.

      • LGB

        Lol. The wrs made Kapernick looked good last year at San fran. The QB and we relationship in regards to looking good is reciprocal

      • jdilla415

        ur the laughing stock of AA bro. keep it up

  • sidibeke

    I agree. I want Hemmingway to get more reps. I wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of losing Dex on punt returns, though.

  • T.Hagen

    I really think we put that hall kid to use.

  • T.Hagen


  • T.Hagen

    One more time Chad Hall, I bet the kid wants to prove himself so bad. Give the boy a chance cause andy reid keeps bringing him back , so use him.

  • KCMikeG

    More Hemingway please. Lots more. Liked him since watching him in camp as a rookie before he got hurt last year. Saw it again this year yet it has taken them half a season to get him more reps. Guy catches the ball and that moves the chains! More reps for him will make our offense better. Why do we keep yo-yoing Chad Hall when we could give Hammond, Boyd or Ross a shot plus Rico Richardson is just a phone call away. Hate to see Dexter out but have confidence Reid will have a plan. Think Demps or Hammond should take the punt returns. If we get up big give Davis some real time reps too as he is developing as a KO returner. I love how much stronger this team is across the board. Our best OL, TE and OLB are all out but guys just keep stepping up. Thanks John Dorsey.

  • Calchiefsfan

    It won’t matter, the Chiefs are going to destroy the Raiders in similar fashion to the Redskins. They are hitting their stride. The silver lining to the 3 losses is that they grew a lot as a team, both sides of the ball. They are going to roll into the playoffs and nobody is gonna want to play them. They’re not even out of the running for the #1 seed. If Denver and New England screw up again they’re in.

  • tomflex

    I think we would miss McCluster a bit more than we might think. Those routes he runs require a special mindset and toughness that not everyone is blessed with. Yes it would be nice to finally get a full dose of Hemingway just to see if those little glimpses from past games have a full dose capability. I think he can be that guy but expecting great things the first time out could be a bit much.
    Hope McCluster is OK and hope that MRSA bug is not what they find in that petri dish.

  • Brian Martasin

    Hemmingway>>Hall. Enough of Hall already, he’s bush league.

  • Chuck Burrell

    Yes Hemingway is the fan favorite, and for good reason. I was surprised there was no mention of Jenkins on here. I expect both of them to get their opportunities this week and for hall to possibly get 2 snaps? I think I’m just rooting for Jenkins because I hate Baldwin so much…. And because he would be one more castoff that came from the 9ers that Reid and Dorsey found value in. Either way, juniors chance to shine has been long overdue. I’m pumped for sunday!!!!

  • tm1946

    What about Knile Davis, great speed if he does not fumble.

  • Jamie Denton

    I totally agree with giving Hemmingway the chance to go out there and show his stuff! Especially someone who is catching 75% of the balls thrown to them! But who will fill in for Dex on Special Teams?

  • Crayton Caswell