Chiefs could get Jamaal Charles back in Week 17

If the Kansas City Chiefs can remain in the AFC playoff picture down the stretch, Jamaal Charles could return just in time to bolster a playoff run.

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the more overlooked teams in the NFL right now, with a 5-2 record heading into a very winnable game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ve gotten to this point with almost no contribution from running back Jamaal Charles, who has played just three games with 14 touches due to a lingering knee issue, but the Chiefs may get their biggest-name offensive player back in time for a potential playoff run.

Charles reportedly underwent surgery to “trim” the meniscus in his troublesome right knee last Wednesday. The fact he didn’t need his meniscus totally repaired gives him a chance to return to action this season, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Sunday morning the Chiefs are targeting a Week 17 return for Charles.

Charles is a prime candidate to be the player Kansas City uses the injured reserve-designated to return tag on. Week 17 also happens to be the eight-week mark from right now, when he could be activated from that designation. So the proverbial pieces are in place for Charles to return in time to help the Chiefs against the San Diego Chargers in the regular season finale, and in any subsequent playoff games.

Week 17 surely has to matter for Kansas City, in terms of a playoff spot or the chance to bolster a playoff seed, for Charles to be on the field in that game. But even if he doesn’t play in the final regular season game, Charles should be able to suit up if the Chiefs make the playoffs.

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