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The Seattle locker room floor was full of scattered debris. Coach Pete Carroll stood in the middle of it, festooned in a swanky blue suit. He was saying he has to muck it up, dig deep, excavate why his team that has strode to the last two Super Bowls suddenly cannot finish and has fallen to 2-3.
This was after the Seahawks lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-24, in overtime on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. It was a game Seattle led 24-7 with a little more than 12 minutes left. In all three of its losses Seattle has blown second-half leads.
As the eight-year veteran will now spend most of the offseason rehabbing to get healthy heading into next season, the Chiefs, now sitting at a disappointing 1-4 on the season, will try to figure out how to piece together a productive offense without Charles.
“You’re not going to replace Jamaal Charles,” head coach Andy Reid said Monday. “He’s one of the best in the history of the game.”
They will certainly see a difference on the field, but just how big a difference is the question — and it’s one the Chiefs faced four years ago.
This isn’t the first time Charles has suffered a torn ACL in his NFL career. In his second game of the 2011 season, Charles sustained the injury in his left knee and only rushed for 83 yards that year. Thomas Jones was Charles’ primary backup, and the team also had Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster getting carries.
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