ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Chiefs’ ground attack is obviously established with running back Jamaal Charles.
But the team is also comfortable with what second-year pro Knile Davis, who suffered a fractured fibula in the playoffs, brings to the offense.
“The one that thing he did was he worked extremely hard to get himself healthy again during this offseason because of what happened to him in the playoff game,” offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told reporters Friday. “But I’m 100 percent confident in what he can do. He brings a lot to us; he’s an explosive running back; he’s a physical running back; and again, this will be a big camp for him.”
Still, Pederson’s praise of Davis doesn’t equate to more opportunities to get the ball in Davis’ hands given Charles’ presence.
“He may not necessarily get more touches,” Pederson said. “He may get more plays. We just pick our spots. Again, there’s going to be certain plays for Knile, and there are certain plays for Jamaal.”
Of course, an argument could be posed to get Davis more involved on offense.
After totaling 45 yards on 22 carries in Weeks 1-13 last season, Davis finished strong, totaling 147 yards and four touchdowns on 48 carries the final four regular-season games.
The former Arkansas Razorback also stepped in during the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts, producing 100 yards total (67 rushing) with two touchdowns after Charles sustained a concussion.
The Chiefs’ ability to keep the 27-year-old Charles fresh and healthy will start with Davis. And this is especially true if Davis continues to grow and impress the coaching staff.
Head coach Andy Reid hinted as much at the NFL Scouting Combine when it came to working in the 5-10, 227-pound Davis as a complement to Charles, who measures 5-11, 199 pounds.
“I think coming into this season,” Reid said in February, “we’ll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year.”
But with a game on the line, the Chiefs reinforced on the second day of training camp whose number gets the call.
“When it’s in the heat of the battle,” Pederson said, “and it’s kind of crunch time, you want your guys on the field, and that’s the bottom line.
“Jamaal’s a part of that and he’s going to be on the football field regardless of how may touches he’s had early in the game or how many plays he has leading up to that point. So when we get to that aspect of the game, then we’re going to put our best guys out on the field.”
NOTES: The Chiefs are schedule to go to pads for Saturday’s morning practice … “It’s been seven or eight months now,” defensive end Mike DeVito told reporters about donning pads, “so it’s time to roll” …. Running back Joe McKnight (knee, PUP list), cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring, PUP list), defensive back Sanders Commings (foot, NFI list), offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins (back, NFI) and tight end Sean McGrath (personal) did not practice Friday.