The Kansas City Chiefs have announced that they will hold superstar running back Jamaal Charles out of tonight’s game against the Carolina Panthers, which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET. While the Chiefs won their first exhibition match, the Panthers dropped a 20-18 result to the Buffalo Bills. Charles’s absence will give Knile Davis first-team reps against the Panthers vaunted front seven, which features the deepest (not the best…that belongs to the St. Louis Rams, of course) defensive line in the NFL. The likes of Kony Ealy, Kawann Short, and Star Lotulelei will need to be held in check by the new-look Chiefs offensive line, so Davis and the likes of Eric Fisher should be tested heavily.
Nobody should be worrying about Charles’s absence tonight, though, because he’s being held out by Andy Reid and the organization as a precaution. Charles is suffering from a bruised foot, but it’s an extremely minor injury that won’t hurt him at all once the regular season gets under way. In the prime of his career, Charles is the unquestioned staple of the Chiefs offense, and the emergence of Davis won’t cut into his touches as a rusher and receiver.
One of the most versatile backs in the game, Charles received 329 touches last season, with 70 of them being receptions. His average of five yards per carry was actually the lowest of his career, which is just absolutely ridiculous. Look for him to hit five this upcoming season, and the Chiefs will try and ride his legs to the playoffs for a second straight year.