KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Running back Jamaal Charles got his first taste of the playoffs in 2010 when the Chiefs won the AFC West.
The 30-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the opening round has stayed with the Charles, who rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, adding a catch for 15 yards on the game.
Speaking to reporters during Tuesday’s media session, Charles recalls he was excited and “felt like a rookie,” leading to him losing a fumble.
Now that’s he’s older, Charles desires more the second time around in the postseason.
“I really want this, I really want to go far,” Charles said. “And I know if I have to put the team on my back I will. I’m really excited to take this role.”
If there’s a player on the Chiefs capable of carrying a team against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, it’s clearly Charles.
He finished the regular season with a career-high 1,980 total yards from scrimmage (1,287 rushing, 693 receiving).
Charles also established career highs rushing touchdowns (12), total touchdowns (19), receptions (70), receiving yards (693) and receiving touchdowns (7).
While the Colts defeated the Chiefs 23-7 two weeks ago, Charles proved the lone bright star with 106 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries.
And Colts defensive end Robert Mathis said Charles’ versatility makes him a dangerous player.
“He’s not a one-trick pony,” Mathis said during Tuesday’s media conference call. “He can catch the ball; he can run the ball in between the tackles, outside the tackles, screens.
“Whatever you ask him to do; he can do it and take it to the house each and every play. He’s a problem and a half, so we have to keep our eyes on him at all times.”
Monitoring where Charles is on the field definitely has Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s attention.
“Early and often,” Pagano told reporters when asked how much he expect of Charles during Tuesday’s media conference call. “I’m sure they’re thinking like we’re thinking, so I think we’ll see him a ton.”
Bowe returns to practice
Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe returned to the practice field Tuesday after missing the final regular season game with a concussion.
The flip side is Bowe apparently hasn’t been medically cleared to play yet.
“He’s cleared to practice right now and they’re going through all the tests,” coach Andy Reid said during Tuesday’s media session. “I don’t even know exactly all the different steps they take, but he’s cleared to practice as we go today.”
Still, having Bowe on the practice field early in the week is a good sign he’s close to returning to action.
The Chiefs announced linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ankle) had been placed on injured reserve.
Johnson suffered his injury in the season finale against the San Diego Chargers.
To replace Johnson, the Chiefs signed linebacker Robert James, who entered the league our of Arizona State as a fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 NFL Draft.
The Falcons released the 5-foot-11, 224-pound James in August. He recently had a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens in early September before being released.
Notes: Reid said outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) participated in the morning walkthrough, but Hali “still has a little bit of knee inflammation” … Hali stood on the sidelines and watched his teammates go through warmups during the afternoon portion of practice open to media … The mother of former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Chiefs, the Kansas City Star reports.