Jamaal Charles is a demigod in cleats. The 28-year-old running back of the Kansas City Chiefs put together another fantastic campaign in 2014, rushing for 1,033 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Yet, Charles talked about last year being a tough year for him, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com.
"“I was frustrated more last season as I’ve ever been because of all of those injuries. I was frustrated because I didn’t feel my body was right the whole season. But I battled through that time. That’s all I could do. I felt like I was in a fight and I had to respond. I had 12 weeks to finish the season, and it felt to me like I had 12 rounds to go.’’"
Charles was injured in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos when he sustained a high-ankle sprain. The injury typically takes 4-6 weeks to recover from, but Charles was back in Week 4 for the Monday Night Football demolition of the New England Patriots.
Charles did not miss another game, but only eclipsed 100 yards in a game once, going for 159 and two touchdowns on 20 carries against the Seattle Seahawks.
The good news is Charles does not feel it is a product of wear-and-tear. Instead, Charles believes it was a simple string of freak injuries that affected his ankle, hamstring, shoulder and back, per Teicher.
"“It wasn’t that,’’ Charles said. “I think it was just bad luck. I was just dinged up. If my body was breaking down, I definitely wouldn’t have played the whole season.”"
In case you were wondering how great Charles is, he has averaged at least 5.0 yards/carry in each of his seven seasons (with five qualifying). Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith hit that benchmark six times … combined.
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Charles was still able to break away on occasion, highlighted by his 63-yard, 39-yard and 36-yard touchdown runs against the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams, respectively.
"“When you’re playing football and you hurt your ankle, you just have to have it in your mind that every time you get hit it’s going to hurt,’’ Charles said. “It definitely hurt. But I was able to put that out of my mind and make plays.’’"
Charles enters the 2015 season as Kansas City’s all-time leading rusher with 6,856 yards, and feels he can add ample yardage to the total.
“I feel good,’’ Charles said. “My body has healed up, rested up.