This time, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles said he wasn’t seeing stars, like he did after absorbing a big hit earlier this season at San Diego.
But the Chiefs removed Charles from the game and examined him for a concussion after Oakland safety Brandian Ross drilled him at the end of a 6-yard run to the Oakland 3 midway through the third quarter on Sunday.
Backup Knile Davis replaced Charles, the NFL touchdown leader with 14, and finished the drive, scoring from 3 yards out, part of a 21-point flurry in the Chiefs’ 31-13 victory.
Charles cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the game for one more carry, a 1-yard gain after the Chiefs recovered an Oakland fumble. But that was it for Charles after the Raiders, like Arizona a week ago, twisted his ankle while at the bottom of the pile.
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“I told coach to give me time for my ankle to chill out,” said Charles, “because it was under a lot of pressure. I could have played, but I needed to rest it. I was upset. … I wanted to play in the game, but these injury issues have been killing this year. It’s part of the game, but I have to find a way to get over it.”
Charles said he anticipates no problems being ready for next week’s game at Pittsburgh.
“I feel good,” he said. “I just think I need to get off it and ice it and heal it and get it back right, because it is still tender.”
Davis not only scored in Charles’ place, but he put the game out of reach by latching onto a short pass from Alex Smith and racing 70 yards for a touchdown, his first career touchdown catch.
“It was man coverage,” Davis said, “and my man (linebacker Miles Burris) slipped. Alex put it in the right spot, and the field was wide open. It was a great pitch and catch. I saw there was no one in the open field, and I wasn’t going to be caught.
“It’s a great feeling to see the end zone and nobody in front of it. It’s like practice.”
Davis, a second-year back, had just six touches of the ball in the offense during the past three weeks, but he rushed for 132 yards against Miami in week three when Charles was out with a sprained ankle.
“I’m happy for Knile,” Charles said. “Every week he comes to practice, and he doesn’t say a word. He comes to the game, and sometimes he doesn’t get any reps, and I’ll be like, ‘Man, let him loose.’ But he comes in when I’m down and makes plays for me.
“He makes a long run when the team needs it and scores touchdowns when I’m out. We need people like that to step up. I’m happy his hard work pays off.”
Davis, the Chiefs primary kickoff returner, has accepted his role with a smile.
“Practice is where I get my reps and get my confidence,” Davis said. “In practice I try to go hard and make it like a game atmosphere so I can stay ready.”