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NFL AM: Jamaal Charles Shows Off Moves in Rehab Workout

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The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the most intriguing teams in the National Football League for 2016, and they’re getting ready to welcome back their most dynamic player to boost their hand.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is on the way back from an ACL tear suffered in Week 5 last season and though he’s been making steady progress through the offseason, on Friday, he showed off some significant steps while training at EXOS, an athletes performance center in Pensacola.

Charles is attempting to return from his second significant knee injury, four years after coming back from a tear of his other ACL. The season after his last comeback, the Chiefs’ running back rushed for a career-high 1,509 yards. Charles is older now, with his 30th birthday looming in December, but he believes himself to be a little wiser, too. He also believes that since he’s missed almost two full seasons due to injury, there’s still plenty left in his tank.

For the Chiefs, anything Charles can give would be a step in the right direction. The team was left for dead after a 1-5 start to the 2015 campaign but they reeled off 10 consecutive wins to get to the playoffs, then defeated the Houston Texans in impressive fashion in the Wild Card round before being knocked off by New England in the following round.

Kansas City sits a step away from the elite teams in the AFC, but the return of Charles as well as some offseason additions could bridge that gap. The AFC West is currently wide open with the Super Bowl Champion Broncos suddenly quarterback-starved and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see KC, one of the more complete teams in the league, challenge for the division title and spark a playoff run.

BILLS’ SAMMY WATKINS RUNNING AFTER FOOT SURGERY

Another important piece to an AFC contender is also on the comeback trail.

Sammy Watkins also posted video on Friday to show off his progress in his return from offseason foot surgery. Watkins had the surgery in May and at last check in June, he wasn’t yet running. But that has changed in July, as evidenced by his video. Even the slightest bit of progress is a big deal for the Bills who are desperate to have their top target in the receiving corps back for the start of the 2016 season.

Watkins had a strong sophomore season in 2015, breaking the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time despite playing in just 13 games. But he has yet to quite bust out the way Buffalo envisioned he would when they made him the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. They were hoping 2016 could be that year, as young wide receivers tend to come around as experience in a system and chemistry with a quarterback grows, but the broken foot was a setback in that progress.

It seems unlikely at this point Watkins gets on the field much at training camp, but if the Bills can get him back by Week 1, something that seemed more and more unlikely just a few weeks ago, it would be a big boost in their chances of competing for a playoff spot in the loaded AFC.


About Devon Jeffreys

Devon Jeffreys