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Chiefs say Tamba Hali is ahead of Jamaal Charles in injury return

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Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in October which I thought that would give him plenty of time to return and be a full go in the Kansas City Chiefs training camp. That didn’t happen. Jamaal missed a good chunk of camp and still isn’t taking the lion’s share of first team reps like we would expect.

Maybe the Chiefs are taking it easy. Maybe Jamaal doesn’t need the reps. Maybe it’ll all be better by Week 1. Maybe....

“We’ll see,” Andy Reid said when asked if Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali would be ready. “I can’t predict that – I would tell you that Tamba is a little further along than where Jamaal is right now. But both of them are making progress.”

For his part, Jamaal says he’s ready to go now ... which is what you’d expect a competitor like Jamaal to say. Would it surprise anyone if he had a great game Week 1?

“I am ‘full go’ right now,” Jamaal said. “I’m out here, I’m practicing and I can’t be happier about where I’m at.”

The Chiefs said earlier in the summer Jamaal should be ready for camp and he wasn’t. I think he’s going to be fine but that was a bit of a red flag as is the fact that it’s taking longer to come back from this ACL than the previous one (granted he was four years younger then). Then again, Jamaal’s doctor told him he can’t treat this ACL like the other one. They’re all different.

“Worrying too much won’t get you anywhere,” Jamaal said. “By stepping with my faith, it will lead me in the right direction. If I worry about my knee being ‘good’, ‘not good’ or if it’ll get better, it won’t help anything. I can’t worry about those types of things. I’ve got to get myself ready mentally and physically.”

Jamaal said he isn’t sure if he will be a 20-25 carry back again but he doesn’t need to be with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West in the fold. He does have an elite skill set the others don’t: his speed.

“In addition, the funny thing with me is, I’m faster than normal people,” Jamaal told the media. “I’m faster than all of you holding the cameras right now. I’m faster than some of my teammates. You may not see that directly, but I’m faster than some of the guys I’m going up against. I learned that a long time ago from one of my coaches when I was at Texas. My coach said, ‘Jamaal, it’s okay. Even though you have a limp and a bad ankle, you’re still faster than the guys next to you.’ I know I’ve received God-given talent. It’s God’s glory allowing me to come back from two ACL tears.”

The Chiefs can afford to take it slow with him. They have Ware and West. Even if he’s on a pitch count early, that’s fine. Keep him fresh throughout the year. That’s the advantage of having capable backups.