KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Versatile running back Jamaal Charles declared he felt “great” after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Wednesday practice in preparation for Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Charles, who finished No. 3 in NFL rushing last year with 1,287 yards and caught 70 passes for another 693 yards, has not played since the Chiefs’ first preseason game. He was held out by coaches who wanted to save his body for the real season.
The Chiefs had mixed news Wednesday on the injury front.
Wide receiver A. J. Jenkings returned to practice after being sidelined the previous five days due to a concussion suffered in the final preseason game. He was cleared to participate in practice and is on the road to be cleared to play Sunday.
However, the other starting wide receiver will be Frankie Hammond, in place of Dwayne Bowe, who will serve a one-game NFL suspension. Hammond, spent last season on the Chiefs’ practice squad, is a speed receiver who out of University of Florida who appeared vastly improved this preseason.
Josh Mauga will be the starting middle linebacker. He steps into the spot vacated by veteran Joe Mays, who was moved to the injured-reserve list/designated for return on Tuesday. Mauga was signed just before the start of training camp, after sitting out the 2013 season because of injury with the New York Jets.
Offensive lineman Mike McGlynn continues to work as the starting left guard. He was signed last Wednesday after being released by Washington and is replacing starter Jeff Allen, who was moved to right tackle to replace Donald Stephenson, who is serving a four-game NFL suspension.
Center Eric Kush did not practice because of a shoulder injury. The backup center’s status for Sunday’s game is questionable. Kush suffered the injury in the final preseason game last week.