Charles was the one man the Chiefs could least afford to lose for the season. He suffered the freak injury while planting his leg on a run towards the sidelines against the Detroit Lions in Week 2. He then rolled into the Lions’ mascot and couldn’t even make the effort to get to his feet as he was left clutching his knee.
ESPN's Adam Schefter almost immediately confirmed on Twitter that Charles suffered a torn ACL.
We shouldn’t expect to see the superstar RB back on the field this season. His absence will ensure the Chiefs are the worst team in the NFL.
Yeah, they’re in the running too, but Todd Haley’s Chiefs are going down much quicker than the Titanic did and will sink even deeper than the rest.
At least the Seahawks and Colts have hope. Pete Carroll can always turn to Charlie Whitehurst in Seattle and also have Arizona in Week 3.
The Chiefs lost three important players to ACL injuries in the span of three weeks. First, emerging second-year TE Tony Moeaki was lost for the season in the preseason finale. Haley should’ve known not to play his starters more than series or two before games actually started to count.
In fact, he was lucky Matt Cassel didn’t miss time after he was folded up with a rib injury.
They lost elite second-year safety Eric Berry after Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson went low on a block.
The Chiefs have been outscored 89-10 in the past two games. They are now without the one man who could prevent the opposition from scoring. They’re also without the one man who can strike quicker than just about anybody else in the NFL.
Charles proved last year in the Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens that he can shred any defense in the NFL. His abilities are invaluable to the entire Chiefs’ offense, as he takes pressure off Cassel and the defense.
Thomas Jones is a fantastic downhill runner, but he lacks the speed and explosiveness. He can excite the team with his power, but he won’t put points on the board as quick as Haley’s squad needs.
“’I don't know the extent of his injury, but it's a terrible loss for us, for our team,’ says fellow Chiefs running back Thomas Jones. ‘If Jamaal's gone for the year, guys have to step up,’” said Jones according to International Business Times’ Dave Smith.
Dexter McCluster is the man we should all expect to attempt to fill Charles' big shoes. He has similar speed and agility, but he doesn’t offer the experience or power Charles did. Charles is a rare specimen in the mold of Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson.
The worst part is the emotional affect it will have on the rest of the team. They could mentally check out after seeing their two most important players removed for the season. Already staring at an 0-2 hole, Kansas City will surely go down 0-3.
They have to travel to San Diego, who is coming off a tough loss against the Patriots. Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and the Chargers’ offense will be looking for blood and eying a 40-spot of their own against this Chiefs defense.
More importantly, Takeo Spikes and the Chargers’ defense will look to rally and put a stamp on their season against a Charles-less offense. This contest will get ugly quickly, but the season is already disgusting.
Even if the Chiefs manage to climb out of their 0-3 hole against Minnesota and Indianapolis before their Week 6 bye, they will come back to a dreaded schedule.
They open with three division games out of the next four. Starting in Week 11, KC takes on New England, Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago and Green Bay before finishing the season against Oakland and Denver. Needless to say, the Chiefs will not be winning many games this season. They will be lucky to finish the year with four wins.
The injury bug hit the surprise team of 2010 hard and it doesn’t seem like it will end up. Even if the plague suddenly leaves the Chiefs’ locker room, this season is already lost.
“’The season will not be canceled as far as I know,’ Haley says. ‘What we have to do is we have to stop doing those things that are costing us dearly, and putting us in very difficult positions,’” said Haley according to Smith.
You might as well cancel the season, Haley, especially considering your decisions. You put your team in a difficult position when you tempted the Football Gods in the preseason finale.
At least they’ll have the opportunity to draft Luck, who is expected to be the next megastar NFL QB.