The thinking before the 2013 NFL season started was that the Kansas City Chiefs would slowly work Knile Davis into the running back rotation so that Jamaal Charles isn't taking such a huge load of the offense. That was a nice thought in theory but it hasn't panned out.
First off, Jamaal is so good that you have to think twice before you take him off the field. Second, Davis has been inconsistent in the limited amount of touches he's seen, dating back to training camp.
KC Chiefs running back coach Eric Bieniemy said this week that they have to get Davis more involved.
"I don't think anything has been holding Knile back, probably more than anything it's been Jamaal," Bieniemy said, via quotes from the Chiefs. "Knile is doing an outstanding job, and obviously, me as a coach, as his position coach and us as a staff, we have to get him involved a little more. He's made the progress that we've counted on. It's just getting him in the mix and just placing him out there."
Even just a few carries a game would be more work than what he's seen so far. Through nine games, Davis has 17 carries for 59 yards. This, mind you, is the guy that would be carrying the full load should Jamaal get hurt or miss time for whatever reason. It's an important backup position.
I am nearing the point of worrying about how little work Davis has gotten. On the one hand, the Chiefs have to be ready in case something happens to Jamaal, so Davis needs more live action. No question. On the other hand, every single snap this season has been so important that the Chiefs need Jamaal in there. He's that good.
Right when you think the Chiefs are going to start working Davis in more, they get away from him. He had a career high six carries in the Philly game then combined for just two in the next two games. He had two carries and then three carries in Week 7 and 8 and then no carries in Week 9.
Related: Adam Teicher on Jamaal and Knile
This is a topic we will talk about often but I'm not sure what the solution is. There wasn't one carry last Sunday where I would have been comfortable taking Jamaal out of the game. It was a tight game and Jamaal's the type of player where you always feel he's one cut away from breaking a big one. A lot of the Chiefs games have been close in the fourth quarter and if you're not going to use Jamaal in the fourth quarter when you need him the most then you're just wasting him. That's the problem the Chiefs are running into. They need to get Davis more work but every snap has been so important that it's hard to find times where you can take Jamaal out.
So the problem is that Jamaal needs a breather once in a while but he's too dang important to take out. What's the solution?