Jamaal Charles is set to practice for the first time this year since tearing his ACL in his right knee last year in week 5 against Chicago. It is his second time returning from a serious knee injury in his eight-year career. The last time he did it he returned better than ever the next year totaling over 1,700 yards from scrimmage.
Given Charles’ impressive history, he leads all running backs to ever play in the NFL with 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, it is fair to wonder if betting against Charles is not so smart. There are some variables that affect Charles this time around differently than his 2012 season. For one, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware filled in great for Charles after his injury took place. The main problem this time around, though, is father time. Charles is one of the most used backs in the league due to his phenomenal ability to catch the ball as well as he runs it. This, coupled with the fact that this will be his age 30 season, is reason enough to question if Charles can return to form.
Even Charles admits that rehabbing this same injury was much different this time around, per the Kansas City Star. “When I did the ACL recovery the first time, I was younger,” he wrote. “I didn’t have those things to think about. We picked up and moved down to Pensacola to do my rehab work with Dr. Andrews and his staff. But we can’t do that this time. I’ve got the future ahead of me. My daughters are in school and we’re used to being stable here, so I can’t pick up everybody and just go. That’s what I have to think about: what’s best for me and what’s best for my family.”
If Jamaal has proven anything, it is that he can overcome adversity. He was born with a learning disability that made it very hard for him to read. On top of that it took some time to diagnose, and by the time, Charles was already very far behind the rest of his classmates. He did not let it stop him from powering through his disability and we went on to attend the University of Texas. Charles is a good bet to prove all the naysayers wrong, it’s all he has done his whole life.