Jamaal Charles has dealt with several serious knee injuries over the course of his nine-year NFL career. The 30-year-old running back, who signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, tore his left ACL in 2011 and tore his right ACL in 2015.
Charles underwent a physical before signing with Denver. But according to Kansas City radio host Brad Fanning, Charles’ injury situation was once so dire, the Kansas City Chiefs team doctors actually advised Charles to retire.
“At some point Chiefs doctors tried to convince Jamaal to retire,” Fanning said on “The Drive,” the radio show he co-hosts, Wednesday. “(They) said, ‘Listen, hang it up. It’s gonna be a great career. You’re a fantastic player. Two-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler. You had a tremendous career. It’s time to hang it up.'”
Charles didn’t take their advice. Instead, he sought a second opinion on his knee. Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon who’s famous for working with high-profile NFL players, told Charles that it was a meniscus tear hindering him. Andrews performed a procedure to repair it.
“And now I’m being told he’s about as healthy as he’s ever been,” Fanning said. “As healthy as a 30-year-old running back can be.”
Charles has rushed the ball only 83 times in the last two years. He missed all but three games for Kansas City in 2016.
“I just wasn’t ready last year,” Charles said at his introductory press conference as a Bronco. “I didn’t tear my ACL. I just went in there and got it cleaned up on my meniscus. That’s what it was. I wasn’t ready last year. If you go to my website, I’ll tell you the story of what happened. I just wasn’t ready.”
Charles sounded motivated to face his old team in his first public comments as a Bronco. He’ll get his first chance to play against the Chiefs on Oct. 30 when Denver travels to Kansas City for Monday Night Football.
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