Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles Likely Done For Year
Jamaal Charles was having another great statistical season as the key piece of the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. Now Andy Reid and co. may have an identity crisis on their hands.
That’s precisely what appeared to happen mid-way through their week five battle with the Chicago Bears, as KC led 17-3 after two quarters, but wouldn’t score again after Jamaal Charles left the game with a knee injury.
Kansas City went on to lose the game 18-17 in dramatic fashion, and may have lost their star rusher in the process, as well. Charles received a goal-line carry early in the third quarter, only to have his right knee buckle. Charles fell to the ground in obvious pain and it had the look of an extremely serious injury immediately due to it being of the non-contact variety.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport, the immediate “fear” is that Charles suffered a torn ACL and his 2015 season is likely over.
The immediate fear is that #Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles tore his ACL, source says, based on initial tests. He’ll have an MRI to learn more.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 11, 2015
That toughest part of losing Charles is that Kansas City’s offense was somewhat handcuffed even with him. Thanks the the weak-armed Alex Smith under center, the Chiefs routinely struggle to put up high level points and come of predictable in the passing game. Smith’s inability or reluctance to push the ball down the field doesn’t maximize the ability of Kansas City’s top passing weapons, while his constant tendency to check down to Charles and other options in the passing game puts far too much pressure on his receivers making plays.
In other words, this is a big loss and it’s not good. Knile Davis would have been a complete lock to take over for Charles a year ago, but he’s had consistency issues so far this year and has fallen behind new backup, Charcandrick West. West entered Sunday’s game against the Bears once Charles went down and was the top benefactor of the injury. That figures to be the same going forward next week when Kansas City heads to Minnesota to try to take down the Vikings. Davis could eventually carve out a bigger role or even take over the starting job completely, but no matter what happens, the Chiefs are seeing a considerable downgrade at the running back position.
As tough as it is to see a great, dynamic player be lost for the season, it’s even more troubling to see the Chiefs cave and lose their fourth game in a row. Now 1-4, a team many felt could challenge for the top of the AFC West is now all but certain to miss out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
The loss of Charles naturally makes Kansas City a rough individual bet on a per game basis going forward, while they should see their division, playoff and Super Bowl odds all plummet from this point on. Looking ahead to next week, they should be underdogs on the road against the Vikings, who are arguably a lot better than a mediocre 2-2 record suggests.
*photo credit – www.tonimikulka.com
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