KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs have a few months before reporting for the start of the voluntary offseason workout program, which is scheduled to begin on April 18.
But it appears the team’s long-term plans include running back Jamaal Charles, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered in Week 5.
“Well, as I look at it right now, Jamaal is, I think he may be ahead of schedule in terms of his rehabilitation,” general manager John Dorsey said Thursday in a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “The guy is an extremely talented player. Love him to death. Love how dirty-tough he is. Yeah, he’s a Chief.”
Dorsey wouldn’t commit to Charles being ready for training camp, but the general manager is encouraged by what he has been told.
“That’s more of a medical assessment,” Dorsey said. “What I have to do if they say they’re ahead of schedule, then I believe that he’s ahead of schedule, which is very positive for this organization.”
What could assist Charles, who turned 29 on Dec. 27, in his recovery and return to action surrounds the rehabilitation isn’t new to him.
Charles previously tore the ACL in his left knee early in the 2011 season and was ready for the 2012 regular season.
Advances in medical treatment and technology will also play a role in how fast Charles returns to action.
“I have always thought it was in that nine- to 10-month window,” Dorsey said. “But with surgical procedures and the way they are today, guys have come back a lot faster than they have in years past. I think it’s a case-by-case basis. It’s the human body, it’s got to be a case-by-case basis.”
Despite being without Charles after Week 5, the Chiefs went on to win 10 straight games to close the season en route to the postseason.
The Chiefs utilized a running back committee with Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware with a little help from quarterback Alex Smith, who rushed for 498 yards.
West led the team in rushing with 634 yards and four touchdowns on 160 attempts, while Ware chipped in with 403 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 72 attempts.
The Chiefs finished the season ranked sixth in rushing (127.8 yards per game).