The Kansas City Chiefs held star running back Jamaal Charles out of last night’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers as a precaution, as Charles is suffering from a bruised foot. One of the game’s best skill position players, Charles doesn’t need any preseason time, so the snaps were better off going to Knile Davis and Cyrus Gray anyway. Davis is a talented, explosive rusher who could probably start for a couple of teams in this league, but Charles is such a great all-around player that the Chiefs aren’t going to take significant carries away from him to accommodate Davis.
It always pays to be cautious with an injury to a star player, especially when that player is clearly the focal point of the offense. Charles averaged five yards per carry last season and caught 70 passes, and he should hit those numbers again this season with more MVP votes potentially on the way.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Charles’s ailment, “With Jamaal Charles, he twisted his foot and kind of freak thing. It didn’t happen at practice. It was after practice [when] we were leaving and so, we held him out. Precautionary measures. I think he’s going to be fine but I left him back at home. We’ll go from there but he’s doing well.”
Again, there’s nothing to worry about here, and Charles’s absence was honestly a good thing for the Chiefs in the long run, as Gray and Davis were able to notch ten and nine carries respectively. Davis slogged just 30 yards on his carries against the Carolina Panthers elite front seven, while Gray had a solid game on the ground with 44 rushing yards. Gray lost two yards on a catch, while Davis showed off his pass-catching ability by snagging three passes for 26 yards, which is about an average YPR for an RB.