Jamaal Charles is already getting close to 25 touches per game, and the Kansas City Chiefs running back may be seeing even more.
Charles is carrying the bulk of the workload for the Chiefs, who have jumped out to an 8-0 start this year. With Charles on pace for an astounding 392 touches this year, many would expect the team to ease back a bit as they prepare for the playoffs and an unlikely run.
But the Chiefs say otherwise. Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said the team plans on continuing to feed Jamaal Charles the ball as the season goes on.
“He’s a guy who steadily wants a little more each week, a little more responsibility, and the more he gets comfortable in our system and what we’re asking him to do, we’ll put a little more on his plate,” Pederson said, via the Kansas City Star. “He’s so explosive, and we want to be able to use him in that fashion and create matchups in our favor.”
The Chiefs would appear to be following a blueprint that the Minnesota Vikings ran to the playoffs last season. Take one star running back (Adrian Peterson) with a shaky quarterback (Christian Ponder for the Vikings, Alex Smith for the Chiefs), and run it down the opponent’s throat.
Already, Charles has accounted for close to half of the Chiefs yards from scrimmage this year, with 775 of the team’s 1,958.
Charles has said he welcomes the workload, saying not all of the touches are hard on his body.
“I’m not worried,” Charles told USA Today Sports. “Sometimes, I don’t even really get hit. Sometimes, I try to hit them before they hit me.
“It doesn’t matter about how many touches I’ve gotten. I’m not even worrying about that. It’s not even in my mind. I’m just worrying about how to stay successful.”
But easing up on Jamaal Charles might be wise, the team’s followers say. There is quite a dropoff to No. 2 running back Knile Davis and if Charles went do with an injury it could be devastating to the team’s championship hopes.