KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles told Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated he underwent stem-cell treatment as part of his recovery process from a torn ACL in his right knee.
Charles suffered the knee injury against the Chicago Bears in Week 5 and had surgery in late October.
He also suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in 2011, but Charles told Vrentas the stem-cell procedure marked the first time he tried the treatment. The procedure has gained popularity, according to a July 2014 article in Sports Illustrated.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid couldn’t confirm or offer particulars of Charles’ reported treatment.
“To be honest with you, I’m not sure about all that, we can get you that information,” Reid said Friday. “I know he’s doing good in his rehab, but all the details with that stuff, that’s out of my area.”
While the Chiefs have a policy that prohibits media from talking to injured players, Charles has done interviews in the past week with The Associated Press and Sports Illustrated.
Charles told Sports Illustrated he expects to be ready for the 2016 season, and Reid appeared optimistic the running back is on track with rehabilitation.
“That’s what they tell me,” Reid said. “I’ve seen him here and he’s working his tail off. What they did and the procedures and all that, I don’t know all that.”
Charles has been observed in the locker room in recent weeks walking without the use of crutches and without a noticeable limp.
GROWING A GUARD
The Chiefs covet versatility on the offensive line and virtually every starter can play multiple positions.
Kansas City also likes to develop players on the practice squad and have started to experiment with rookie offensive tackle Laurence Gibson at guard in the past week.
It is a change he embraces.
“Anything for me to step out on the field with the Chiefs,” Gibson said.
The 6-6, 315-pound Gibson said he played guard “a little bit” at Virginia Tech, but adjusting to the professional level has been unique.
“You wouldn’t think it would be that different just moving one position over,” Gibson said, “but it’s almost like day and night.”
Gibson said he enjoys learning to play guard, but admits the biggest difference surrounds proximity from what he’s accustomed to on the outside.
“The person you’re dealing with is a lot closer to you than like a defensive end,” he said, “and there’s a lot less area for them to work with because at tackle, they got really the entire side of the field to the guard. And then at guard, they have a small window – the tackle and the center – they’re going to come in one of those two gaps.”
Gibson, who originally entered the league as a seventh-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in May’s NFL Draft, said his style of play while adjusting to a new position is simple.
“Mauler, just because I don’t have all the techniques yet,” Gibson said with a grin. “I just want to hit you as hard as I possibly can.”
The clock is ticking on the Chiefs to make a decision on quarterback Tyler Bray.
Bray, who began the season on the non-football injury list after suffering a torn ACL in January, officially returned to practice on Nov. 25.
And that automatically started a three-week decision period for the Chiefs to either activate Bray to the 53-man roster or place him on injured reserve.
“You get the three weeks is what you get, so we just have to see how that goes,” coach Andy Reid said. “Right now, (general manager John) Dorsey and I haven’t talked about that, that’s not something we’ve talked through. So I really don’t have any answer other than he’s doing a nice job out here. It’s been good work for him.”
The Chiefs remain high on Bray, who signed a two-year, $1.925 million contract extension on Sept. 3 despite missing all of training camp and preseason action.
The Chiefs currently have quarterbacks Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray on the active roster.