According to the team, however, X-rays came back negative as Charles is suffering from a foot strain.
While the injury seems harmless enough, it begs the question of just how precautionary Kansas City should be with the centerpiece of its offense. But head coach Andy Reid said that, if healthy, Charles would practice and play against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night.
Charles is coming off a career year with the Chiefs after totaling 1,509 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 285 carries -- production that surprised many just one year removed from an ACL injury that cost him most of the 2011 season. Though the running back's role is expected to evolve with Reid now in Kansas City, he should still be the primary focus of an offense led by new quarterback Alex Smith (acquired this offseason in a trade with the 49ers).
Having any nagging injury linger into the regular season would be a huge blow to a team trying to shake the doldrums of last season's 2-14 showing. While the preseason serves its purpose by providing players and teams the chance to get back into the swing of things, does Charles really need the extra repetitions if there is a heightened concern of him missing more time than he normally would here?
The easy answer would lean toward Kansas City not risking the long-term health of its star by shutting him down and saving him for the games that really matter. But with a new system being implemented -- and Charles expected to be just as vital to the Chiefs' offensive plans as before -- the team really can't afford to miss any opportunity in having the entire first unit completely in sync when the regular season kicks off next month.
What the Chiefs can (and probably will) do, however, is limit Charles' exposure to contact whenever possible during practice and keep things basic in terms of plays called his way during the remaining preseason games. This will allow everyone to continue toward becoming a cohesive unit in advance of Week 1's matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars and will protect Kansas City's most valuable asset without risking him not being on the same page as the rest of the offense.
Injuries occur, and it appears that this is something very minor for Charles and Kansas City. Sometimes being too cautious is a bad thing, which the Chiefs must keep in mind here.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country.
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