The Chiefs understand how important RB Jamaal Charles is to a successful season. Nobody else on the roster can change a game as quickly. So to ensure he's on the field late in the year, when Kansas City hopes to be in the playoff hunt, the teams' brain trust spent much of the offseason dreaming up ways to keep him healthy, not only in training camp but beyond.
'You want to make sure he is healthy late in the season,'' offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said, ''so if that means giving a guy like Knile Davis some reps - whatever you have to do, number one, to keep him healthy for 16 games, and you do that each week.''
Pederson said one of the biggest challenges is noticing when Charles is operating at less than 100 percent. The former Texas standout hates to take time off, even from practice.
''We have to be smart and work with our training staff and our medical staff to just stay in tune,'' he said. ''Communication is obviously the utmost importance when it comes to those kinds of situations. We have to be smart and give him that proper rest, you know? And he has to communicate with us and tell us when he may be a little banged-up or maybe can't go here or there.''
For now, Charles feels the best he has in a year, maybe even longer, the story said. While Andy Reid has always rode his top RB dating back to the Eagles, it's possible the team gives Davis more work. But we still forecast Charles as one of the top RBs this season. Davis is a nice handcuff option to anyone who owns Charles this year, though.