KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Running back Jamaal Charles spent time Wednesday working out on a hill next to the Chiefs training facility under the watchful eye of a trainer.
The occasion marked Charles’ first appearance at organized team activities (OTAs), but he didn’t join his teammates on the field.
Instead, Charles, who was clad in shorts and a t-shirt, spent time walking up and down the hill – alternating going forward and backward – and at one point jogged up the hill before walking down.
One thing is for sure – the workout didn’t look easy.
“It’s a killer,” coach Andy Reid said Thursday. “He says that he gets about halfway up that hill and he wished the hill stopped.”
Charles’ workout is part of his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament to his right knee suffered in October 2015.
The Chiefs are hopeful to have the 29-year-ol Charles back on the practice field by training camp, but until then he will continue rehabilitating at the team’s training facility.
Incorporating hill training is apparently part of the recovery process.
“It’s a brutal workout that he’s putting himself through there, but it’s an important thing,” Reid said. “He plays a rugged position and he’s coming off a major injury and that’s one way of getting the legs back.”
Former Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine observed Chiefs OTAs on Wednesday as a guest.
“He and (defensive coordinator) Bob Sutton have a history together,” Reid said. “They’ve worked together, they’re very good friends.”
Pettine, who was fired in Cleveland after the 2015 season, served as the New York Jets defensive coordinator from 2009-12, the same period Sutton was a linebackers coach in New York.
The visit was more social than anything, as the Chiefs coaching staff is already in place.
“We invited him,” Reid said. “He’s a good guy, a Philadelphia guy, his dad was a legendary high school coach there, as was Mike. I knew him from back then and it was good to have him out here.”
The NFL on Thursday announced the official dates and times for the Chiefs’ preseason games.
Kansas City hosts the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium at 3:30 p.m. CT on Aug. 13 before going on the road to face the Los Angeles Rams at 9 p.m. on Aug. 20.
The Chiefs stay on the road the following week for a 12 p.m. game against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 27, and then finish the preseason on Sept. 1 by playing host to the Green Bay Packers at 7 p.m.