Kansas City Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles has been placed on the injured reserve and is out for the season.
The team put Charles on the IR after the four-year veteran tore his ACL during a first quarter play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon.
Charles, who rushed for 1,467 yards last season, was heading towards a first down mark in the first quarter when he appeared to awkwardly lunge and immediately grabbed his left knee in pain.
Charles left the game and soon word spread that the injury was a serious one. The fourth-year running back from the University of Texas was expected to improve upon last year's Pro Bowl season, but now his season is done.
It's unfortunate, you know, directly for Jamaal because I know Jamaal had high hopes and was excited and worked very hard to be ready to take this to the next level, and now he won't be able to do that, Chiefs coach Todd Haley told reporters. I know he's hurting pretty good inside. That's first and foremost where my feelings go. But as far as our team, we must step up as a team and move forward.
For the Chiefs, this is another massive blow to an already struggling team. The Chiefs have already lost tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Eric Berry for the year, and the loss of Charles could be the straw that breaks coach Todd Haley's back.
You hate to see any of your teammates, whether it's Jamaal, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, any one of those guys go down, because we're not just teammates, we're friends, veteran running back Thomas Jones said. You hate to see a guy that works as hard as Jamaal go down like that.
Jones, along with running back Dexter McCluster, will have to pick up Charles' slack in the ground game. Jones rushed for close to 900 yards last season, while McCluster was more frequently used in gadget and trick play situations.
Although it is likely impossible to replicate Charles' workhorse 2010 numbers, one Chief is confident the rest of the team can make up for the loss.
We have very capable, proven guys in the backfield, Chiefs wide receiver Jerheme Urban said. Coach talks about it all the time, and if you go in any other NFL locker room, they're going to talk about it was well: Somebody goes down, somebody else has to step up.
Fantasy Football Analysis: Losing Charles for the season is a major blow to fantasy football owners. Charles was one of the first five players taken in almost all fantasy drafts and his injury could spell doom for those players that own Charles on their teams.
Charles already lost carries to veteran Thomas Jones, but still managed to put up monster numbers last season. In the short term, owners should try to pick up Dexter McCluster if they don't already own him and/or Thomas Jones.
Jones actually got more carries than Charles last year and certainly has some value, but McCluster appeared to be the more effective primary offensive threat in the Chiefs loss on Sunday. McCluster rushed for 51 yards on eight carries and is similar to Charles in possessing the home run threat capability.
The Chiefs offense has looked rather pitiful in putting up a combined 10 points in their first two games, but McCluster is a need for all Charles owners and a good pickup for non-Charles owners. He won't put up anywhere near the numbers Charles put up last year, but he could provide a decent stop gap while you scour the markets for other pickups and approach other league owners with trade offers.