As Jamaal Charles thrashed and clutched at his right knee late into the Chiefs’ loss to the Chicago Bears yesterday, I was immediately reminded of Adrian Peterson’s devastating knee injury in 2011. Two All-Pro running backs, two torn ACLs, and two long roads to recovery. Peterson defied the odds, making an improbable comeback to win the rushing title and MVP award behind a 2,000-yard season in 2012. Charles, meanwhile, will try to return from his second torn ligament in four years — a rare feat in the increasingly-violent, physical world of the NFL.
When the Vikings and Chiefs meet this Sunday, Peterson will be on the field, while Charles will be forced to watch from the sidelines, making this game much more about the quarterbacks and defenses than a meeting of the league’s best running backs. Head coach Mike Zimmer spoke to the media this morning, and when asked about the Chiefs, praised Kansas City’s talent at a number of different roster positions:
“Offensively they’re – wide open would be a good way to describe them. Quarterback scrambles, he can be very, very accurate. They’ve got a tight end that’s very dangerous, wide receiver that’s excellent. Obviously I don’t know about [Jamaal] Charles – I know he’s good.”