For Pete's Sake

Jamaal Charles would be happy if Broncos cut him ahead of game against Chiefs

Denver Broncos' Jamaal Charles talks about his return to KC

Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 39 yards but had a key fumble in his return to KC. The Chiefs won 29-19.
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Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 39 yards but had a key fumble in his return to KC. The Chiefs won 29-19.

When the Broncos take the field Sunday to face the Chiefs in the regular-season finale, it will have been three weeks since Denver’s Jamaal Charles touched the ball in a game.

The last time Charles had a rushing attempt was on Dec. 3 at Miami. The following week, Charles didn’t run the ball, but he caught three passes. Charles didn’t record any stats against the Colts and was inactive for last Sunday’s game against Washington.

Charles is not happy about the decline in playing time. In fact, he was asked by reporters if the Broncos should release him and let him join a team headed for the playoffs.

“I ain’t playing. Might as well,” Charles told Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post on Tuesday. “No reason for me to just sit around and look at people play. It is what it is. I’m still going to be supportive of everyone on the team no matter what. I mean, they got my rights right now.”

Charles, who turned 31 on Wednesday, is the Chiefs’ career rushing leader with 7,260 yards, and his career yards-per-carry average of 5.4 is the best in NFL history, ahead of players like Jim Brown (5.2) and Barry Sanders (5.0). Charles was injured during the 2016 season and had two knee surgeries. He was released earlier this year and signed with Denver.

This season, Charles has run for 269 yards and a touchdown in 69 attempts. He hopes to continue playing in 2018, but is unhappy that he hasn’t been given a chance to carry the load for the Broncos. Charles has slipped to fourth on the depth chart behind C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson.

“I thought we were all going to get a chance to share the ball,” Charles told the Post. “I never got a chance to be in the first 15, and it sucks. How the other running backs — like I look around and see the Patriots share the running backs, and New Orleans. You know what I’m saying? I just never got an opportunity.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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