Watch him go. This past Thursday. The practice fields at Missouri Western State University. Charles catches a pass, plants and zips toward the sideline. The knee does not buckle, and it does not hurt. He keeps running until the whistle blows.
This is a glimpse of the old Jamaal Charles — before the injury. This is one of the things he trained for. Doesn’t matter how quickly his legs are moving. These are baby steps.
After surgery, about a month after suffering the injury, Charles began rehabilitating his knee twice a day in Pensacola, Fla. He would rise early, enduring stretches and strength exercises, some of them painful, and sure, he said, there were days he just wanted to remain in bed.
“I had to want to be back on top again,” he said. “I had to do all the right things.”