Charles 'improving' but still a maybe for Friday vs. 49ers

Reid says Charles could have practiced Wednesday, but Chiefs are playing it safe with prized tailback

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- On the plus side, Jamaal Charles feels good enough to march. But whether he feels good enough to suit up Friday in the Kansas City Chiefs' first preseason home game, well, that remains to be seen.
"I guess if it was push-to-shove, he probably could've gone [Wednesday]," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said late Wednesday morning after the team completed its final full-contact workout at Missouri Western State University, home to the first three weeks of preseason camp. "But (for) precautionary measures, we kept him out.
"And we'll just see how he does in the next couple days. I haven't determined anything (about) whether he'll play or not play (Friday)."
The All-Pro tailback strained his right foot during practice Monday morning and left on a cart. Charles was subsequently checked out by at least two orthopedic specialists, who confirmed that it was nothing more serious than a strain, although trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters that a tendon in the ankle was sore.
The former University of Texas star was held out of practice Tuesday, and spent Wednesday's morning session largely doing calisthenics -- including a spell of marching up and down the long grassy hill that runs adjacent to the practice fields at Missouri Western.
"He's getting better," Reid said. "He's just not quite there yet."
The Chiefs want to do whatever it takes to get him "there," even if it means missing multiple preseason contests. Charles touched the ball on eight of the first-team offense's 14 plays during the club's initial touchdown drive at New Orleans last Friday. He ran for 1,509 yards and five scores last fall.
"So we'll take it day by day," Reid continued. "If he can play, he'll play. If not, then he won't."
Rookie Knile Davis continues to take snaps at tailback with the first team in Charles' absence, with Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray also working into the mix.
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