Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have signed Thomas Jones, the question becomes how much he'll play.
Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has questioned Charles' ability to shoulder the load at just about every stop along the way. And at each stop thus far, Charles has proven he can handle it (and handle it well, I might add).
With Charles in the mix, it's a risky move taking him off the field. He's one of the fastest backs in the league and has the ability to break one at any time so taking him off the field isn't always the best situation.
According to SI's Peter King, look for a 60/40 split on Charles and Jones heading into 2010.
I like Thomas Jones, supremely motivated, at $3 million in 2010. And let's be clear about this: Jamaal Charles needs a hard-charging challenger to his job. If both men are healthy for 16 games and playing at the optimum, Charles gets 60 percent of the carries, maybe 260 in all. But Todd Haley is playing the best guy, and Jones will push Charles hard to be that guy.
From everything I've read and heard about Jones, he wont' be swayed by the perception that he's the No. 2 guy in town. He willingly took a smaller load during the 2009 playoffs because the Jets wanted to get Shonn Greene more involved.
My guess -- and this is just a guess -- is that if both players are healthy, that split will be closer to 50/50. With LJ last year, Haley wanted to pound the rock again and again. Now that he's got a player in LJ's likeness, I think he will want to try that again but with a shorter leash if it doesn't work out ala LJ.