Can Jamaal Charles carry the offense?

Jamaal Charles. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley- USA TODAY Sports
Jamaal Charles. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley- USA TODAY Sports /

For years, the Kansas City Chiefs have relied heavily on Jamaal Charles. Can they continue to do so?

Last year, it was Week 5 when the air completely came out of the balloon. Jamaal Charles had to be helped off the field by a litany of medical personnel and Justin Houston. It was brutal, and the diagnosis would shortly follow. Charles had a torn ACL and would miss the rest of the season.

Without Charles, Kansas City completely changed the scope of the offense and something weird happened. Alex Smith started going deep, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware became players, and the Chiefs went 11-2.

Now, Charles is back and presumably healthy. He’s also 29 years old and has two torn ACLs in the rearview mirror. So, can Charles be relied upon to carry the load for the Chiefs offense, or should head coach Andy Reid make him a role player?

Charles is a great player and with another nice year or two, could become a Hall of Famer after he retires. Yet, maybe Kansas City is better off limiting him to 12-15 touches per game while utilizing Travis Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, West and Ware more often.

It’s a tough choice to make, because any time Charles has the ball, he’s a legitimate threat to go the distance.