Taco Charlton has a fractured ankle for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Nearly every NFL team is dealing with a significant number of injuries, and the defending Super Bowl champs aren’t an exception. The Kansas City Chiefs continue to deal with numerous injuries, and the latest is the loss of Taco Charlton for an undetermined amount of time after getting hurt on Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Panthers.
Charlton hurt his ankle and even walked off the field on it during the Chiefs 33-31 win over the visiting Panthers, but after the game, it was clear that he’d fractured it.
The Chiefs signed Charlton to a one-year contract this offseason as a reclamation project. He was considered a longshot to make the team given the fact that COVID-19 altered the NFL’s preseason schedule to include zero games. Other avenues to make an impact in front of coaches were also lost, including the cancellation of mini-camps, which put incoming players—rookies or veterans—at a disadvantage.
Charlton, however, performed well enough in training camp to show that the first-round pick used on him by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2017 wasn’t completely unfounded. Even though stints with the Cowboys and Miami Dolphins both ended sooner than expected, the Chiefs have obviously found value in Charlton as a rotational pass rusher. That might not be worth a first-round investment, but it also signifies that, with the right coaching fit, Charlton has something positive to bring to the table along the defensive front.
Charlton has never played more than 27 percent of a game’s defensive snaps for the Chiefs, so it’s not as if his loss removes a cornerstone from the line. However, the Chiefs are also dealing with injuries to Alex Okafor and Khalen Saunders and they just recently got Mike Danna back from injured reserve. Both Chris Jones and Frank Clark have dealt with minor injuries in recent weeks as well.
With the bye week ahead, Charlton has another week to heal before anything would be required of him, and even then, the Chiefs need to keep the long-term view in front. The Chiefs have the talent to employ a strong defensive line with plenty of depth for a deep postseason run. Charlton’s health should be considered in that light more than anything else.