COMMENTARY | Though Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has been given a positive long-term prognosis on a foot injury he suffered during practice Monday, the team appears to be safeguarding against risking its best offensive player from missing any time during the regular season.
According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, not only will Charles miss tonight's game against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium, but it is also likely he won't see game action until Kansas City plays meaningful football against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
Based on the reaction from Twitter, it seems that most are in agreement with the decision -- giving props to head coach Andy Reid for the wise choice.
Reid said earlier in the week that Charles would be active if this was the regular season. It is not, however, making it a fairly uncomplicated call here.
Instead of trotting Charles out and increasing the chance of him aggravating one of his most important assets as a running back, the Chiefs will instead use this time to evaluate the rest of their depth at the position -- primarily rookie Knile Davis, who is currently listed just behind Charles on the depth chart. Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray will also receive plenty of looks in the next three games as Kansas City trims its roster.
Charles is just two years removed from an ACL injury that cost him most of the 2011 season, so there is a natural sense of apprehension here -- though he is coming off a career year, having rushed the ball 285 times for 1,509 yards.
During last week's 17-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener, Charles touched the ball eight times for a total of 40 yards and one touchdown during the opening drive (his only drive).
The biggest concern for the Chiefs here is whether Charles was given enough time this offseason to learn the new offensive system that Reid brings to Kansas City from his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. While he is likely to still practice -- though probably not at full strength -- nothing will substitute live game action, so the time lost could prove to be costly.
Some might overreact and suppose the foot injury is worse than what is being shared by the team, which could be the case. But as the focal point of an offense that looks to rely heavily on Charles this season, this decision comes as no surprise.
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