There was little question this weekend the Chargers would promote tight end Asante Cleveland from their practice squad, needing help at the position with Antonio Gates expected to be sidelined Sunday against the Colts.
It was a matter of how they’d create the roster room.
San Diego waived the former Giants running back to sign Cleveland to its 53-man roster. Williams theoretically could return next week, but he first must clear waivers Monday afternoon. Gates officially is listed as doubtful to play Sunday with a hamstring injury.
McCluster makes sense for the Chargers because of his familiarity with the team's offensive scheme from his time with the Titans when San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt served as that team's head coach. And like Woodhead, McCluster is a change-of-pace back who can be used in passing situations and in the return game.
“When DeMarco needs a blow, then it will be Derrick,” HC Mike Mularkey said. “If I feel like we need a change of pace, I’ll put in a change of pace. But right now, there’s no set (rotation). … They’re going to both get opportunities, that’s for sure.”
And don’t expect a specific third-down back, the kind of role Dexter McCluster often played in the past. Murray and Henry are both capable pass-catchers and pass-protectors.
“It’s going to be the rotation as we’re going,” Mularkey said. “It won’t be like it’s designed he’s going in because it’s third down.”
Henry wasn't used much in the passing game at Alabama, but he has shown well enough in the preseason to earn the trust of the coaching staff. The release of McCluster opened up a lot of playing time for both Murray and Henry.