At 30 years old and with four major knee surgeries tacked to his name, Jamaal Charles’ days appear to be numbered with the Kansas City Chiefs. Does he have enough left in the tank to play for another team?
The 2016 NFL season was a year to forget for Jamaal Charles. He finished the season with just 12 carries for 40 yards. Charles was only active for three games all season, as he could not get healthy enough for a full workload after last season’s ACL tear; the second of his career. The veteran running back will be forced to watch from the sidelines this weekend as his Kansas City Chiefs take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for a spot in the AFC Championship game. The winner will play the victor of the Houston Texans at New England Patriots contest for a shot at immortality in the Super Bowl. As if it could not get more painful for Charles, he has never played in a Super Bowl.
Jamaal Charles has not been the same since he blew out his knee for the second time on October 11, 2015. Since then, Charles has had two other surgeries on the opposite knee to repair a meniscus tear, which is what ultimately caused him to land on injured reserve for almost all of the 2016 season. With all of these severe knee issues plaguing his career, is it finally time for Charles to hang it up?
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Jamaal Charles should already have his ticket punched for Hall of Fame enshrinement. In his nine years as a professional running back, Charles has accumulated 9,717 yards from scrimmage to go along with 63 total touchdowns; 20 of those touchdowns coming through the air. Charles should be considered as one of the all-time greats in terms of the best pass-catching running backs.
The most important accolade that should ultimately get Charles into the Hall of Fame is his all-time greatest yards per rushing attempt average. Charles has a career average of 5.5 yards per carry, which is the highest in NFL history among running backs. In a career that has logged five seasons of at least 190 rushing attempts, that is an unbelievable stat line. Charles is also the Kansas City Chiefs’ all time leading rusher. He is simply one of the best ball carriers of his era.
In the eyes of some, Charles only needs a Super Bowl ring to solidify his trip to the Hall of Fame. This could be the key attribute that brings him back for another season in 2017. There are a number of teams in need of a running back, including the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit Lions. There is still room for a running back like Jamaal Charles, who is just two years removed from a 1,300-total yard, 13-touchdown season. If he decides to give a comeback season one more shot, it is extremely likely he will not be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.