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Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles’ Week 2 status means rise of Spencer Ware continues

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Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware is a 24-year-old former sixth-round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks. Heading into the 2015 season, he was a player who was expected to be behind not only featured back Jamaal Charles but also Charcandrick West as well. Then, Ware sort of just took over and never seemed to look back. With the recent news from Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star that Charles is doubtful for Week 2, it means that Ware’s potential to take over will just keep growing.

Charles, who is still working on getting back to 100 percent from his 2015 knee injury, has left the door wide open for Ware, and it’s unfortunately not in anyway Charles’ fault. While he very well may be getting closer to being back to his old self (or something close to it), the door that swung open for Ware may wind up shutting on Charles sooner than later.

After a 2015 season in which Ware averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 402 yards and six touchdowns, he proved right out of the gate in 2016 that he can be an elite option for this Chiefs offense. Ware rushed just 11 times for 70 yards and a touchdown, but it was his exceptional pass-catching abilities that wowed in the Week 1 comeback victory.

Ware caught seven of his eight targets in this game, totaling 129 yards through the air. If he proves capable of being a dual-threat running back, similar to what Charles has been during his time with the Chiefs, then Kansas City may not have any other option than to go with the younger and more explosive option in the running and passing game. To put it simply, Ware is well on his way to carving out a role as a three-down running back, which may spell the end of Charles’ time in Kansas City.

While much of the talk to this point has been about Charles, it may be fairer to shift it entirely to West. He is a player who truly came out of nowhere to shock everyone with the production he’s had through the early part of his NFL career. Over three seasons with LSU, Ware totaled just 295 carries, and averaged a mediocre 4.2 yards per carry while scoring 10 touchdowns. Aside from a solid 2011 campaign, there wasn’t much that jumped off the page about his collegiate resume.

Ware’s time is now, and for Charles, who’s set to turn the dreaded age of 30 this year, it’s hard to envision him coming back from his second knee surgery and being as explosive as Ware is capable of being. A tip of the cap is absolutely in store for Charles, who has played all eight of his NFL seasons with the Chiefs, and topped the 1,000-yard mark five separate times. To go along with that, he has 62 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns, but just as fantasy football owners in 2016 have started to do, they’re shifting their attention over to Ware, and away from Charles.

It’s the brutal truth of the NFL, but sometimes age and injuries catch up to you, and there’s just nothing you can do about it. Charles is learning the hard way, while Ware is taking full advantage of the opportunity placed in front of him.

Jamaal Charles’ Week 2 status means rise of Spencer Ware continues

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