Jamaal Charles hopeful to be back for the playoffs

The Kansas City Chiefs are almost guaranteed of a playoff spot. Short of something disastrous happening, Andy Reid’s squad will be playing postseason football in January.

At 9-3 on the season, Kansas City hosts the first-place Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. It’s a battle for supremacy in what has quickly evolved into the best division in football.

But like the team has done for the vast majority of the 2016 season, Kansas City will be without four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles. The soon-to-be 30-year-old back was placed on injured reserve back in November after undergoing a second knee surgery in the matter of mere months. At that point, it seemed Charles’ season was over.

While that may very well still be the case, Charles is reportedly hopeful that he will be able to rejoin his Chiefs in time for the playoffs.

Not to say that Charles’ absence hasn’t impacted the Chiefs, but Spencer Ware has done a bang-up job in his stead. Ware has put up 1,129 total yards and is averaging well over five yards per touch in 11 games this season.

Though, the Chiefs would become even more dangerous if Charles were to somehow find a way to work himself back on the field during the playoffs. Here’s a guy that put up over 5,000 total yards and 39 touchdowns in the three seasons prior to his recent string of injuries, which began with a torn ACL last year.

Kansas City currently sits one game behind the 10-win Raiders in the AFC West and has a two-game lead in the wild card race. A win Thursday would complete a season sweep of the Raiders, pretty much putting Kansas City in prime position to earn a division title and a first-round playoff bye.