Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles needs 53 yards to become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, but he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
Charles saw what happened when linebacker Derrick Johnson, another Texas alum, suffered a season-ending, ruptured Achilles’ in the season opener when he was 15 tackles short of a club-record 1,000.
“I don’t want to jinx myself,” he said. “They jinxed (linebacker) Derrick Johnson … so I’m not worrying about the record. I just want to go out and play football, and let it happen itself.”
It’s extra meaningful to Charles that he would break the club record 6,070 yards set by Priest Holmes, a fellow University of Texas star whom Charles has admired.
“It’s cool that we went to the same college and are from the same state,” Charles said. “But I really want to come out and try to win and help my teammates get a victory. History is part of the game … and I want to continue making history.”
Berry, Owens ruled out
Chiefs safety Eric Berry (ankle) and nickel cornerback Chris Owens (concussion) were ruled out for Sunday’s game at San Diego along with wide receiver Donnie Avery, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery.
Cornerback Sean Smith (groin) went through a full practice on Friday and is listed as questionable. Running back Cyrus Gray, who has a fracture in his left wrist, is questionable and probably will play wearing a soft cast.
Berry has missed the last three games because of a high-ankle sprain; cornerback Ron Parker has started at strong safety. Rookie Phillip Gaines and Jamell Fleming probably will be the extra defensive backs in passing situations.
The Chargers listed cornerbacks Brandon Flowers (groin) and Jason Verrett (shoulder), defensive end Dwight Freeney (knee) and outside linebacker Cordarro Law (ankle) as questionable. Running backs Ryan Mathews (knee) and Ronnie Brown (concussion) and linebacker Manti Te’o (foot) are out.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who is from San Diego, didn’t play in the regular-season finale last year when the starters were held out of the game, so he’s eager to play at Qualcomm Stadium, where he played in two city championship games at Helix High School.
“When I was in high school, that was the goal, that was the mantra the whole year, ‘Get to Qualcomm … the Q,”’ said Smith.
Smith also made his college debut with Utah at Qualcomm against San Diego State, a 36-17 loss to the Aztecs. He returned in 2004 and completed 22 of 33 passes for 298 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-28 rout of San Diego State, capping the Utes’ unbeaten season.
“It’s weird … my first college playing time was there …” Smith said, “and have been back several times as a pro now .. so weird to play at all three levels.”
Pulling for the Royals
The Royals’ run to the World Series has interrupted preparation time for the Chiefs’ coaching staff. They can’t take their eyes off the television.
“When they’re on TV and we get a chance to watch, we’re watching,” said offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. “And I think it’s great, it’s great for the city, it’s great for the Royals. We’re excited for them. (Wednesday) night was awesome. We were sitting up here as a staff watching the end of that game and kind of put football on hold for a second just to see the end of the game.
“We’re excited for them, and it’s great for this city, great for the fans. And just working in this building, we’ve just got to make sure we beat the crowd out after the game.”
To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @randycovitz.