KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamaal Charles is a terrific downhill runner. But apparently he isn’t so great as a downhill mover.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ Pro Bowl tailback missed Sunday’s 28-16 preseason loss in Carolina because of a bruised foot. On Monday, coach Andy Reid told reporters how the injury happened — and it was a doozy.
The Texas native was apparently carrying a box out of the dorms at Missouri Western State, site of the Chiefs’ training camp, and down a grassy slope late last week; the Chiefs broke camp in St. Joseph, Mo., last Thursday. According to the Chiefs’ coach, No. 25 then somehow accidentally rolled his foot on the curb.
At that point, you can imagine the panic. But Reid said an MRI didn’t show any serious damage, and that Charles was held out of the Carolina game largely as a precautionary measure.
Reid told reporters it was a "freak accident," but with someone as valuable as Charles — who led all NFL running backs in touchdowns rushing and receiving last fall with 19 — those are the kind of freak accidents that can ruin a season before it even starts.
Without Charles in the fold, the Chiefs failed to score in the red zone — they’re just 1 for 5 in such situations through two weeks of exhibition play — and Charles’ backup, Knile Davis, missed at least one key block that led to a sack of Alex Smith while continuing to be a nonfactor in the screen game, a Charles specialty.
Reid wouldn’t say when the Texas native would be a full-go at practice again, and Charles may or may not be cleared for the Chiefs’ third preseason game Saturday at home against Minnesota. It’s a roll-your-eyes story to most of the national media, but it’s a cause for absolute panic for fantasy owners and a valuable argument for those Chiefs fans (and media) who are dubious of the team continuing to train at a remote campus site instead of at the team’s practice facility.
In the meantime, somebody in the Chiefs’ front office might want to find a staffer — or, heck, even a rookie — to carry Charles’ stuff to his car from now on, especially along a grassy slope. Just to be on the safe side.