Impact of Jamaal Charles injury
In Sunday’s loss to the Bears, Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles was helped off the field early in the third quarter, with the Chiefs leading the Bears, 17-3. Andy Reid said that preliminary reports revealed Charles suffered an ACL tear.
With Charles likely missing the remainder of the season, how will the absence of their key offensive weapon affect the Chiefs?
Entering Week 5, Charles was fifth in the league in rushing yards with 306. He was averaging 5.2 yards per rush. Charles is PFF’s 14th-ranked running back this season, and has caught 20 passes, tied for third-most in the league.
Charles has forces 13 missed tackles this season, fourth-most in the league; his overall elusive rating is 10th best.
There is no debating how important Charles is to Andy Reid’s game-plan. The big question now facing the Chiefs: How do they cope without the running back who has been on the field for 231 of the team’s snaps entering the game, compared to the combined 52 taken by Knile Davis and Charcandrick West.
|Kansas City halfbacks entering Week 5|
|Name||Snaps||Rushing attempts||Rushing yards||PFF grade|
While most fans outside of Kansas City might think the obvious answer is to move Knile Davis into the starting spot, Davis has not been the effective player fans had hoped for after he was drafted in the third round in 2013. Not only does he have a poor career PFF grade (-16.0) in his three seasons to date, but he was actually graded-out as the 147th ranked running back last season out of a possible 148 players.
The answer may be un-drafted Charcandrick West from Abilene Christian. West might not be bigger or faster than Davis, but he’s been better in his five touches this season. West has graded-out solidly the past two preseasons (+5.9 combined).
The much larger question potentially facing the Chiefs will be QB Alex Smith. Smith will be counted on to step-up his game after a slow start, which has him ranked 32nd out of 38 QBs this season (-6.0).
With Charles out, it will be up to Alex Smith to prove he was worth the $45 million guaranteed extension he signed before last season.