The Kansas City Chiefs' offense lost 150 points between 2010 and 2011, accounting for the entirety of their drop in the standings to the bottom of the AFC West. And accounting for a lot of that was Jamaal Charles's Week 2 knee injury, which sucked the air out of the Chiefs' stalwart running game. In 2010 he'd run for an incredibly 1467 yards on just 230 carries, a YPC of 6.4, while also grabbing three touchdowns on 45 receptions as a receiver; in 2011 the Chiefs split carries between a completely ineffective Thomas Jones, a marginally effective Jackie Battle, and the not-quite-a-running-back Dexter McCluster.
Charles is back in the Chiefs' offense in the 2012 preseason, and he comes into their Pretend Week 2 game vs. the St. Louis Rams with a lot still to prove. In his return to action in their preseason win vs. the Arizona Cardinals last week, Charles took three carries for 12 yards and added a reception for 11 more.
The Chiefs have another potential comeback star in the backfield as a hedge against Charles's knee—Peyton Hillis, who ran for nearly 1200 yards in 2010 with the Cleveland Browns, earning a fan-voted Madden cover before falling back to earth in 2011.
More Rams vs. Chiefs coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:
- If you're looking for the TV schedule and kickoff time, check out our Rams vs. Chiefs essentials post.
- The Rams, meanwhile, have their own injury question—will Sam Bradford's ankle injury require surgery?