The murmurs started shortly after Jamaal Charles tore his ACL against the Bears in week 5 last season and only got louder as the season went on and backups Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware performed well in his absence.
“That’s it, his career is over.”
“It’s his second ACL tear, there’s no way he comes back as the same player.”
“He makes way too much money for a guy with his injury history.”
The Chiefs were able to win their first playoff game in 22 YEARS without arguably the best player on their team, so suffice it to say I understand why some people at the time were willing to cast off Charles and move forward with the Running Back by Committee approach going forward. However, as I watched the Chiefs lose the AFC Divisional game against the Patriots in a game that was not as close as the score indicates, I kept thinking to myself: Jamaal Charles could have won this game.
By the end of the game the only healthy running back was Knile Davis, who was showing some surprising burst before fumbling away the opening possession of the 2nd half. That was pretty much the beginning of the end. Charcandrick West did have 17 carries but was injured during the game.
He gamely stayed in (especially after Davis was given up on after the fumble) but it was obvious he was struggling as he finished with 61 yards for an average of 3.59 yards per attempt. Not to mention the fact that Spencer Ware, the teams bellcow during the last few games of the regular season, did not even record a carry due to the injuries he was dealing with.
Next: What we saw