Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has sounded like the most motivated player in football this offseason. Like he has something to prove. “I’m hungry,” Charles said in May. “I want it this year.”
Charles hasn’t lost his edge as the spring winds down and turns into summer. Recovering from a torn left ACL, Charles guaranteed to the Kansas City Star Wednesday that he’ll be medically cleared for training camp.
“When they let that cape off me, I’m ready to go,” said Charles, who’s roughly nine months removed from the ligament tear. “I’m ready to put my cleats back on and punish everybody in my way.” Charles went so far as to suggest that he’s already game-ready.
Along with teammates Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry, Charles will seek medical clearance from team doctors next Monday. The trio of ACL victims has been absent from all pre-training camp activities.
Charles is the best player of the three, and the Chiefs’ 2012 outlook very much hinges on his return to effectiveness. When healthy, Charles is arguably the NFL’s most dynamic rusher south of the Twin Cities.