Now that Charles is on the shelf for the year, a roster move needs to be made. Obviously there is no single player that can totally replace JC so the standard should be whether the player is an improvement from the current Charlesless roster and/or whether there is the potential to be a significant improvement to the roster now and have the potential to remain on the roster once Charles returns.
Cox or similar is giving up
If that is a standard that is reasonable, potentially bringing back Mike Cox is insulting. What does he add to the roster? A relatively slow, but decent blocking FB, with OK hands. Is that an improvement? No. Especially not when you have on the roster a FB that is better at all of those things and is a credible powerback too.
Does this offset anything we lost when Charles got injured? Not at all.
Does he have any real upside to significantly improve? Not impossible but highly unlikely.
Practice Squad Shopping
RBs that have any potential to really add to a roster now and in the future are not retreads. They are not on the street or toiling away at their post football careers. They are on practice squads. Pioli needs to go PS shopping.
In my opinion that shopping trip begins and ends in Houston with Chris Ogbonnaya.
What does he replace that we lost with the injury to JC? Good speed, good hands, decent blocker and... he has an upside. At best, he immediately gives the Chiefs another credible running back that can run between the tackles and that can keep the chains moving and maybe more. At worst he is a better version of Jackie Battle.
Dex-Factor - he is not the replacement for Charles
To all the McCluster fans, yes Dex needs to be part of the answer with Charles out. PART of the answer. a few more touches per game, absolutely. Taking a significant portion of the carries Charles was getting in addtion to the touches he was already getting, no.
McCluster is an edge runner and homerun threat - let's not kill him by getting him hit by guys twice his weight 15 times a game running up the gut. Yes he was great in the SEC but this is the NFL guys are bigger, stronger and hit harder. My taking into account the laws of physics are not a criticism of Dex. Putting him in situations where he is going to be tackled by guys weighing 190 - 230 is going to keep him healthier and therefore more productive than getting frequently tackled by guys weighing 260 - 360. In my opinion, a ratio of rushes outside the tackles vs. inside needs to be at least 3:1. His strength is making the other guy miss not breaking the tackles.