It’s never good to assume, but the looks of Jamaal Charles’ week five knee injury suggest a lengthy absence is coming. If just seeing the injury didn’t tell you it was bad, early tests also indicate that Charles has torn the ACL in his right knee and is most likely done for the season.
There are numerous reports and we won’t know much until an MRI takes place and word is officially handed down, but this is quite similar to Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson’s knee injury during the preseason. Injuries of the non-contact variety almost never end with good news and Charles is unlikely to have escaped a second career ACL tear.
He might return just fine next year, but there’s a decent chance his days as a stud running back are over and he’s almost certainly out for the rest of the year. It’s certainly a bummer in a lot of respects. It stinks for the Chiefs, who are now surely out of the running for a turn around to make the playoffs, it’s a bummer for Charles due to him having a stellar season and it’s a real bummer for fantasy football owners who drafted Charles with a top-three pick.
A bummer, all around.
But here’s the deal: Charles is probably toast for fantasy purposes and you need to move on. No, don’t flat out drop him just yet. There have been crazy situations where it looked as awful as possible and then the dude was fine. Just look at Ben Roethlisberger a couple of weeks ago. I thought FOR SURE dude was done, but nope, here he’s only going to miss about a month. Hopefully that’s the case with Charles, and for now there is that SLIM chance, so no, you can’t just cut a guy you spent a first rounder on.
Waiting can kill you when it comes to the waiver wire, so drop a defense or kicker in one of those sticky situations where you just can’t afford to wait. Then obviously go get the top running back out there. Who that will be is anyone’s guess, but at the moments guys like Thomas Rawls, Karlos Williams and Antonio Andrews could have some steam going into next week.
Something called a Charcandrick West is supposedly the top guy in line to replace Charles on the Chiefs, so you absolutely have to consider picking him up. For one, he was the first back in to sub for the injured Charles – not Knile Davis. Davis may be regarded by many as the superior talent, but West is actually pretty spry and has a similar skill-set to Charles. Davis could be worth picking up as well, since we don’t know how this situation will pan out or if West also gets hurt down the road, but right now West is the guy set up to see the work Charles was before getting hurt. The drop down could still be massive, but West needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues going forward and Davis is a solid stash play if you have the room, as well.