I’m making an honest, genuine attempt to keep my overreacting balcony diving to a minimum during the preseason. We can observe and analyze, but maintaining perspective is the best way to achieve sanity. This is why I’ve tried not to run for the nearest typing device upon hearing about every notable training camp injury, resorting to sheer panic.
This is the exception, because Jamaal Charles is an exception for a lot of things.
As the fine folks over at our diligent news desk informed you, the Chiefs running back left practice on a cart. Since Charles has widely been a top five fantasy pick and it’s possible to justify him as even the first overall pick ahead of Adrian Peterson for people who
have large testicles are especially brave, any time he exits any field on anything other than his feet, well, that’s a problem.
The presence of a cart is always terrifying. But fear not, friends, as that’s standard procedure for any leg injury, and according to multiple reports, Charles rode shotgun. Although we’ll get a further update whenever Andy Reid completes his post-practice nap, initial observations from those who observe all things Chiefs are consistently leaning towards an injury that isn’t overly serious. That’s the good word from Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star, while T.J. Carpenter from 810 WHB speculated that Charles likely just rolled his ankle.
While the latter diagnosis sounds nice if true, it leaves open the possibility of the dreaded high-ankle sprain that can linger and limit a running back even once he’s returned to the field. And with that, I’ve taken my spin on the wheel of speculation.
While we continue to bow to the fantasy gods and hope his injury is indeed minor (UPDATE: Charles has a strained foot, and the Chiefs are “hoping for the best but bracing for the worst”, according to Adam Schefter), please recall just a few days ago when we received a tiny sampling of just how absurd Charles’ touches could be in a Reid offense. In their preseason opener against the Saints, the Chiefs’ first-team offense was on the field for one series. That’s typical in Week 1 of the preseason, but the result was the opposite of typical, at least by the recent standards established by Kansas City football.
Alex Smith led an 80-yard drive with a new offense rooted in underneath looks, and a whole lot of Jamaal Charles. Of the 14 plays on the drive, eight of them featured the ball in Charles’ hands, including the climax: a one-yard touchdown run. In total then Charles was highly productive even with his brief appearance, turning his eight touches into 40 yards.
That’s how heavily he’ll be leaned on, and based on just the sheer quantity of his touches, he’ll easily be able to justify his lofty draft position. If he’s healthy.