Chiefs’ Knile Davis remains patient for opportunities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Running back Knile Davis possessed experience in the Chiefs’ offense entering the 2015 regular season as Jamaal Charles’ primary backup.

Davis appeared in 32 games with two starts from 2013-14, so it made sense his playing time would increase when Charles went down with a season-ending ACL injury in Week 5.

Oct. 18, 2015; Minneapolis; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Oct. 18, 2015; Minneapolis; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

The opposite occurred, however, and Davis has played a total of 27 offensive snaps in Weeks 6-8, while Charcandrick West emerged as the featured tailback and Spencer Ware assumed the backup role.

Davis totaled 10 carries for 24 yards during that span before being a healthy inactive in Week 10’s game against the Denver Broncos.

While some players could find the lack of playing time as a reason to sulk, Davis chose to remain upbeat and patient for the opportunity to contribute.

“We’re winning, so I’m good,” Davis said. “I’m just waiting.”

Since starting the season 1-5, the Chiefs have reeled off three straight wins, which has helped soften the blow for Davis’ lack of playing time on offense.

He continued his role as the primary returner in Weeks 6-8 and currently ranks 10th in the NFL, averaging 26.7 yards per return.

But Davis admits not dressing against the Broncos caught him by surprise.

“Definitely,” Davis said. “I asked why, they just told me they wanted to try (defensive back Saalim) Hakim. They didn’t tell me I did anything wrong, but it was just kind of a business move.”

Davis, the second of the Chiefs’ two third-round picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, began the season with 705 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on 204 carries, which includes two 100-yard efforts in 2014. For good measure, he added 222 yards receiving and a touchdown on 27 catches.

Despite the production and experience, the Chiefs have turned to West, who joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, and Ware, who joined the Chiefs at the end of the 2014 season on a reserve/future deal.

Davis enters Week 11 with 21 carries for 51 yards rushing and a touchdown and two catches for 24 yards receiving on the season.

Nevertheless, coach Andy Reid has been steadfast in supporting the third-year running back and said after Week 10’s game he hasn’t lost confidence in Davis.

Reid re-emphasized that stance Monday and took it a step further by complimenting how Davis has dealt with the situation.

“I think he’s handling it professionally,” Reid said. “That’s all a part of this business. He’s a young guy, he’s learning and he’s got a lot of good days ahead of him, so this isn’t the end of the road for Knile at all.”

Davis takes the head coach’s words to heart and maintains confidence in his abilities.

He also appreciates the support from Reid and intends to use the past few weeks as a learning experience.

“That’s exactly how I’m taking it,” Davis said. “I believe him. I believe I’m a good player. I feel like I’ve shown I’m a good player. I’m just waiting.”


Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.