The debate has been raging on from the very moment we heard the full extent of the injury to Jamaal Charles, “Will Charles be able to return from this?”
As a Chiefs fan there was no doubt in my mind he would return, just look at his return from the last torn ACL in 2012. After seeing JC suit up and hit the practice field again it was both uplifting and reassuring at the same time. For most, the excitement around the Chiefs Kingdom reached fever pitch hearing that the “prodigal son” was back, but to some, there is the question of whether or not the Chiefs need him right now?
With Andy Reid and the Chiefs medical team not wanting to take a punt on Charles (excuse the pun) so early on in the season, does this now mean that Charles is the new backup Running Back for the Chiefs?
It’s hard to believe that a player of Charles’ caliber is sat on the sidelines, raring to go, yet the Chiefs don’t feel they want to use him yet? What is clear though is that the Chiefs clearly like what they see since the emergence of Spencer Ware, his ability to rush and receive has paid dividends of late, especially in the matchup against the Chargers in week 1 where he single handedly dragged the Chiefs into overtime kicking and screaming. His stats after week 2 put him top of the NFL’s most total yards gained category this season, so is Ware keeping Charles on the bench? Or is Charles simply not fully fit yet?
Whatever the reason for keeping Charles on the sidelines, the Chiefs have one of the best problems to have in football “Which productive RB do we choose this week?” Whilst other teams have their RB’s on the treatment table, the Chiefs still have their young guns and their talisman waiting in the shadows to be called upon when required. It could be the difference if the Chiefs get to the playoffs again this year.
It may be some time before we see Jamaal Charles return as the load bearing RB he once was, if at all, but if the Chiefs can take the time to get him fully fit and work out ways of dividing up the plays for 3 RB’s, then it could be a master stroke later in the season.
It’s a tough call for Andy Reid, but it could be a good call at that!