For most NFL running backs, a 206-carry, 1,033-yard season that yielded nine rushing touchdowns and five yards per carry would be a successful one. That’s not the case for Kansas City Chiefs back Jamaal Charles.
Charles, in speaking with ESPN’s Adam Teicher in a piece that ran on Tuesday, expressed frustration with how his 2014 season played out—in his words, “I was frustrated more last season as I’ve ever been because of all of those injuries. I was frustrated because I didn’t feel my body was right the whole season.”[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ef5837″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]”I was frustrated more last season as I’ve ever been because of all of those injuries. I was frustrated because I didn’t feel my body was right the whole season.”[/mks_pullquote]
His first injury came at the end of Chiefs’ training camp, when he twisted an ankle while moving belongings from his dormitory. They mounted as the season wore on, and included foot, shoulder, hamstring, back and knee ailments, as well as concussion-like symptoms resulting from a blow to the head he took in October. Still, while Charles was on the Chiefs’ injury report for nine out of 16 weeks, he only missed one game.
This isn’t an indication that the 28-year old, eighth-year veteran is slowing down. Given that Charles still managed an average five yards per carry, ended the year with over 1,000 rushing yards and added 40 catches for 291 yards and five more scores to his stat line, and it simply serves to illustrate how resilient a player Charles really is.
Charles is also preparing to stave off such a rash of injuries from holding him back in 2015. He has a plan in place, which included offseason workouts in Texas with other NFL players and adds that, at least right now, he is feeling good, noting that “My body has healed up, rested up.”
In his seven seasons in Kansas City, Charles has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards five times. He’s suffered just one significant injury, an ACL tear suffered in Week 2 of the 2011 season. He bounced back the following year, with 1,509 rushing yards and five rushing scores, along with 35 receptions for 236 yards and an additional touchdown.
Given his impressive career production, his ability to return from a far more significant injury seemingly no worse for wear and his dedication to preventing the nagging injuries from piling up this year, there should be no concern that Charles’ best playing days are behind him. He’ll again resume his role as the centerpiece of the Chiefs’ offense this year, more motivated than ever to prove he’s one of the NFL’s best all-around running backs.
Photo: USA Today Images