Bill Williamson of ESPN is reporting that the Chiefs will likely hold Jamaal Charles out of Friday night’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. The move is considered to be a precaution and Charles is expected to be healthy once the season starts.
Here is what Williamson said on his blog:
The team has said Charles will be fine. But he very likely will be held out of Friday’s preseason game against San Francisco as a precaution. I’d expect Charles to be ready to go early next week.
The move isn’t a surprise, and on some level is a relief, given Friday’s game means absolutely nothing. Yes, it would have been preferable that Charles be 100% healthy and playing on Friday, but it is better for the Chiefs to rest Charles and let him get to 100% rather than add stress to his foot in a meaningless game. Until there is news that Charles is going to see a doctor or that he is going to miss more practice next week, there really isn’t too much to be concerned about.
With Charles likely out on Friday that means the Chiefs are going to get a good long look at their two young running backs who are fighting for the backup spot to Charles. Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, and Shaun Draughn should all see a good amount of reps on Friday, especially Davis and Gray. Kansas City doesn’t really know what they have in Davis and in Gray so the extra reps in a game should give Andy Reid and Doug Pederson a better idea of what they have behind Charles.
It’ll also be interesting to see how the offense reacts without one of their best weapons and against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Most of last Friday’s first drive against the New Orleans Saints ran through Charles, so seeing what Alex Smith does without that outlet will be something to watch for. It may also provide an opportunity to see how Kansas City plans to use their tight ends in the passing game now that one of their biggest short-yardage receiving threats is out.
Ultimately, this could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Chiefs. They are getting extra reps for Davis and Gray in both practice and in the game to see what they have in each player; they get to test the strength of their offense and Alex Smith against a very good defense without having Charles there to bail them out; and they get to rest Charles and save him for the regular season.
The only negative from all of this is we don’t get to see Charles play, which truly is very sad.
It should be noted that right after Williams report this came out:
Reid says Charles could play Friday night against 49ers: http://t.co/ssqyMSz9vl
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) August 14, 2013
I’ll let you make your own conclusions as to whether or not Charles will play Friday.