Of the three players on the Kansas City Chiefs roster who were lost to season-ending ACL injuries in 2011—Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles—only Charles has returned looking like his former self. Despite extensive rehab, Charles looks as fresh as ever and he has the numbers to back it up.
Coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard-plus rushing seasons in 2009 and 2010—where he averaged an otherworldly 5.9 and 6.4 yards per carry, respectively—Charles only appeared in two games in 2011 before his season was cut short.
Through the first six games of this season however, Charles is receiving 19 carries per game--more than he was receiving before the injury--averaging 5.1 yards per carry, has scored twice and even set a new career-long for himself with a 91-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints last month. He is still the force the Chiefs knew back in 2009 and 2010.
While Charles is dominating, Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry are having trouble regaining their footing. So far Moeaki has been little more than an afterthought (10 catches, 94 yards, 0 TD) and is struggling to be an effective blocker, while Berry’s performances have been pedestrian at best (22 tackles, 0 INT, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles and only one pass defended).
Time may yet prove that Moeaki and Berry will return to form, but the early results are not inspiring much confidence. As long as Charles keeps trucking along, however, the Chiefs will at least have one bright spot to point to this season.