Eleven months after suffering a torn ACL, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was back on the field on Friday night, and when he took a hit to his surgically repaired knee, he easily brushed it off.
“I felt fresh. My body hasn’t taken any licks in 11 months, so I feel real good and ready to go,” Charles said after the game.
Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said after the game that he believes getting Charles a hit to the knee in live game action was a good step. Charles needs the confidence that he can take a shot and pop back up, and now he knows he can.
“For him to take that hit, I think that helped clear his mind with where he is with that injury,” Crennel said. “Until you get hit on it, you just don’t know. You’re always wondering about it.”
Charles had three carries for 12 yards and one catch for 11 yards, and the Chiefs’ two other key players who suffered torn ACLs last year, tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Eric Berry, also returned to action. The Chiefs, who scored touchdowns on both of the offensive series that starting quarterback Matt Cassel played and jumped out to an early 17-0 lead over the Cardinals on Friday night, have to feel good about how their healthy starters are looking.