Red Zone

Jamaal Charles shares details of his recovery from torn ACL

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles explained his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a recent post on his website called “The Path Less Traveled.”

The entire post is worth a read, but here are a few highlights:

▪ Charles said his torn ACL rehab in 2011 (when he tore the ligament in his left knee) has helped him. He mentioned that he’s helpful to have so many people in his corner, and he’s ready to prove doubters wrong.

“I know the outside perspective can be that I was hurt last year, so I don’t get as much respect as the person that played the whole season,” he wrote. “It’s about what you’ve done lately. You can have a great season one year, and then the next year not play the whole season, and you don’t get the same benefit of the doubt. I know that comes with the territory. People feel like they don’t know what I can do anymore. But that’s motivation for me to show what I can do now.”

▪ Charles noted that this recovery, however, has been different. He’s married with two kids now, and his family stays on his mind more than ever.

“When I did the ACL recovery the first time, I was younger,” he wrote. “I didn’t have those things to think about. We picked up and moved down to Pensacola to do my rehab work with Dr. Andrews and his staff. But we can’t do that this time. I’ve got the future ahead of me. My daughters are in school and we’re used to being stable here, so I can’t pick up everybody and just go. That’s what I have to think about: what’s best for me and what’s best for my family.”

▪ Charles said he hasn’t started running yet, but he hopes to soon. He also said he’s been working out five times a week, for about three to four hours a day, doing strength and balance work in Kansas City with the Chiefs’ trainers.

“This is actually the first time I’ve ever spent the whole offseason based out of Kansas City, and I’m really loving it,” he wrote. “Normally, I go back to my house in Austin during the offseason and stay there. But I really like being up here.”

Charles noted that he’s been spending a lot of time working out with cornerback Phillip Gaines, who also tore his ACL last season.

“It’s similar to how it was with Eric Berry and I, when I tore my other ACL,” Charles wrote. “EB was going through the same process then and we were back-to-back each week. I’m back-to-back with Phillip right now. We know we’re in this together, so we watch each other’s backs.”

▪ Charles said he’s been in the NFL nine years, but he feels like he still has some great days ahead of him because he’s missed almost two full seasons. He was rooting for his teammates to make to the Super Bowl this year, though, and is using it all as motivation.

“The way it ended is hard to swallow,” he wrote. “When you end up only two games away from playing in the Super Bowl, you get that feeling like, ‘That could have been us.’

“For me, not being a big part of that run was motivation. It didn’t discourage me. It definitely made me stronger, because I want that same kind of success, and more. I’m trying my hardest to come back next year stronger than ever, and to be a part of that, to participate in the same thing they did, so I can feel that feeling again. If we can just feed on that energy from last year, I think we can do something special in 2016.”