Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles returned to practice on Thursday, four days after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Denver Broncos.
It’s still uncertain what Charles’ status will be for Sunday’s game at Miami. Charles, who did not practice on Wednesday, was a limited participant on Thursday. He took part in position drills during the portion of practice that was open to reporters and later took part in at least one team period.
Charles received some attention from a trainer before taking his place in line in a receiving drill but did not appear to be favoring the ankle that was injured in the first quarter of Sunday’s game. In fact, he performed without any ill effects during a drill in which players stand on one leg.
Charles, who led the NFL with 19 touchdowns last season, carried just two times for four yards and caught one pass for eight yards in the 24-17 loss at Denver.
Safety Eric Berry, who also sustained a sprained ankle at Denver, and running back De’Anthtony Thomas, who has missed the first two games because of a hamstring strain, did not practice.
Confident in Santos
Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub reiterated the club’s confidence in rookie kicker Cairo Santos, who has made just two of four field goals in the first two games of the season and missed a critical 37-yarder at Denver last week.
“We have to go back and remember the body of work he showed us in training camp and in the exhibition games,” Toub said of Santos, who beat out veteran Ryan Succop for the place-kicking job.
“If we brought five kickers in from the street right now, and he was one of them, he’d still be the best kicker out of that group. We still believe in Cairo. He just needs confidence. He needs to get some kicks under his belt and get into a groove, and I think he’ll be fine.”
Among the kickers who are available are Rob Bironas, who spent nine years at Tennessee, and Alex Henery, a fourth-round pick out of Nebraska by Andy Reid in Philadelphia in 2011.
The Chiefs haven’t indicated they’re ready to start auditioning kickers. Yet.
“Well you know the NFL, you're going to be patient to a point,” Toub said. “He knows there's a sense of urgency. He understands that. We're going to keep being patient at this point."
Santos made all three of his field-goal tries in preseason and made a 35-yarder off the right upright and missed a 48-yarder off the left upright against Tennessee; and he made a 45-yarder at Denver but missed a 37-yarder at the end of a 10-minute drive in the third quarter against the Broncos.
“He’s got to remember all the kicks he’s made,” Toub said. “He earned a job. He beat a good player out. He’s a good kicker, and he’s going to be kicking in this league, and hopefully it’s still with us.”
Santos made all seven of his field-goal attempts between 35 and 45 yards during the portion of practice that was open to the media on Thursday.