Back to Work for Charles

Photo: John Rieger USA TODAY Sports

After missing Friday nights exhibition game against the 49ers, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, was a full participant in practice on Sunday. Does that mean he'll be ready to play Saturday night? Or should they hold him out until the regular season begins?

I doubt had Chiefs Running Back, Jamaal Charles, played against the San Francisco 49ers, the outcome of the game would have been any different. And if there was a plus side to the foot injury that sat KC's All Pro performer, his back-up Knile Davis, did get to run with the first team.

In fact, Davis ended his tour of duty by leading the Chiefs in both rushing (37 yards) and receiving (31 yards). I doubt Charles would have been able to do any better against a very tough 49ers defense.

Still if the Chiefs are going to become a proficient offense (and they looked anything but that Friday night) they need Charles at the top of his game. So if the season started tomorrow would Charles be able to play?

That's the big question on the minds of Chiefs fans. But for now Charles just wants to get better.

"I'm still a little bit sore. I'm just day-to-day now, getting my treatment and making sure I get all my treatment before I can be right," Charles said.

When the injury occurred there was some panic it could be severe and that Charles could have a lengthy stay away from the field. And if you hear Charles explain the injury you might have believed that as well.

"It started from my foot and traveled all the way up the side of my foot and now it's stuck in the middle of my right leg. I mean, it's a day-to-day thing. It's getting better every day," he told reporters after Sunday's practice.

However that may be the case for Charles, he wasn't about to get back on the practice field unless he could go full speed.

"I told (Head Athletic Trainer) Rick (Burkholder) I can't just be waiting and waiting and waiting. I want to get in the reps with the ones and continue to see how I feel, if it's getting better or worse," Charles stated.

And that's just something the Chiefs have to be weary off, as they begin preparations for the season opener against Jacksonville. In that regard, reporters pushed Charles about his availability Friday night against San Francisco. He made it clear he could have played.

So that alone should put Chiefs fans at easy. And as long as the injury doesn't get worse, Charles should be ready to go come opening day.

Charles is a veteran and he's already come back from a severe knee injury a season ago. But that doesn't make up for the fact he's still learning under a new head coach, a new system and missing any amount of practice time could be critical to his maturation in learning this offense.

If the Chiefs are going to get to the playoff promised land this season, Charles has to lead them. So getting back on the field and being productive is paramount for the Chiefs.

"It's a new system and a new coach, so everybody is expecting something a bit different," he said about Andy Reid's complex offense. "They (the coaches) want to see what I can do. I know myself what I can do, but I wasn't with them in their system so they still want to see what I can do. Everybody, the whole team, not just me, a couple of other guys who are high level Pro Bowlers, are still out there playing, so I need to go out there and play and do my job as well."

Thus to easy any concerns, let's hope he can do just that Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Should the Chiefs play Charles again in the preseason?

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