The Kansas City Chiefs suffered two huge losses in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears and the future of their 2015 season is very much in doubt. Not only did they lose the game and drop to 1-4 on the season, they also lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season due to a torn ACL.
Knile Davis is the next man up at the running back position for the Chiefs, but can he replace Charles moving forward this season?
Throughout the last three season in limited playing time, Davis has carried the football 215 times for 732 yards and 11 touchdowns. He hasn’t looked bad in those limited carries, but he hasn’t had to carry the heavy load that Charles has either. That will change for the remainder of this season and Davis will have to play a huge role each and every week alongside of Alex Smith in the backfield.
At 24 years old, Davis has had time to learn from the sideline and behind Charles. If he isn’t ready to shoulder the starting role now, there is a good chance that he never will be ready for it.
There is no doubt that Davis has the speed and athleticism to fit perfectly into Charles’ role. He is also a capable receiver out of the backfield and will give Smith a much needed security blanket. Davis is going to be given quite a few touches and every game and it could very well take him some time to get used to things before actually breaking out.
One thing that Davis does have going for him is the offensive system that the Chiefs run. They have a very solid offensive line, but they are a very fundamental football team with Andy Reid as the head coach.
Kansas City has a much better aerial attack this year than they have had in recent seasons as well. Jeremy Maclin has made a major impact for the Chiefs and Travis Kelce has had a big year as well. That ability to pass the football will force defenses to stay honest against the pass and should open up some opportunities for Davis to make some big plays on the ground.
So to answer the original question of whether or not Davis can replace Charles, the answer is yes. He is more than capable of replacing Charles and fans could very well end up being pleasantly with his production. Kansas City has been very vocal about their excitement about Davis and he finally has a big stage set to show what he can do.
Expect to see some huge performances from Davis in relief of Charles and to see the Kansas City offense remain the same despite losing a star.