Tight end Rod Bernstine, who remains the Chargers’ No. 2 rusher despite missing two games, said Wednesday he will be ready to play next week when he’s eligible to come off injured reserve.
Bernstine pulled a hamstring, tried to play through the pain and discomfort, but eventually was placed on injured reserve. He ran 82 times for 399 yards and three touchdowns before missing two games.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “Running pretty much full speed. Today I did more running than I have and I felt pretty good. Next week I should be ready to roll.”
There were reports nationally at the time Bernstine was placed on injured reserve that he was unhappy with the Chargers and wanted to be traded. Bernstine, in the final year of his contract, insisted those reports were inaccurate.
“I didn’t asked to be traded,” Bernstine said. “I heard about it, but I didn’t do it and my agent didn’t do it.”
Nose tackle Tony Savage, who has been carrying the cord for Dan Henning’s headset on the sideline, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with acute tendinitis in his knee.
It’s a tough business: The last player to carry Henning’s headset cord, Mike Withycombe, was released.
“We’ve been concerned with Tony for about two or three weeks,” Henning said. “His weight hasn’t come down. He hasn’t been able to run, and it’s gone up. When we ran him on Monday, he looked like he had a little limp to him and was heavier than he’s been.”
The roster opening was immediately filled by wide receiver Kitrick Taylor. Taylor, 6-0, 191, was selected in the fifth round of the 1987 draft by Kansas City. He also has been with Atlanta and New England.
Wide receiver Nate Lewis (wrist) was listed as doubtful on the Chargers’ initial injury report of the week, and safety Lester Lyles (knee), nose tackle Les Miller (back) and wide receiver Walter Wilson were listed as questionable.
Kick returner Kevin Clark (knee and ankle) topped the Broncos’ injury report and was listed as doubtful, and tight end Orson Mobley (ankle), tackle Ken Lanier (knee) and guard Jim Juriga (back) were listed as questionable.
“Lewis will be an outside possibility,” Henning said. “Way outside. I like what Kitrick Taylor did today; he studied hard last night and this morning and showed some hands in practice. He’s steady under the punts.”
Lewis injured his wrist in practice during the team’s bye week and worked out Wednesday with a bulky cast that ran from the palm of his hand up to his elbow. He leads the team in kickoff returns and punt returns.
Although the Chargers added Taylor to the roster, they go into game with only two healthy wide receivers, Anthony Miller and Quinn Early.
Early was a starting wide receiver at one time.
“They need me, so I’m going to be there,” Early said. “It’s been tough. But adversity is something everybody has to go through at some point.”