Chiefs face dilemma if Charles can't play

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has a bruised quadriceps muscle after seeing his leg stepped on during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chiefs appear confident he will be ready for their next game, this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium.

But if Charles can't go, the two candidates available to replace him couldn’t be any more different.

One candidate is Cyrus Gray, a sixth-round draft pick last year. Gray, a strong special-teams player, is the dependable choice. He’s only 206 pounds and an average runner, but catches well out of the backfield and is a good pass protector.

The other is rookie Knile Davis, a third-round pick. Davis is 227 pounds, fast -- and brings big-play potential. He returned one kickoff 109 yards and another 79 yards in the preseason.

Davis was a notorious fumbler in college. In training camp and the preseason, he dropped numerous passes, was spotty as a pass-blocker and occasionally lined up in the wrong place or ran the wrong play.

It would be a dilemma for the Chiefs, who would need Davis’ big-play ability if Charles isn’t in their lineup. But he’s a risky option, and the Chiefs don’t appear to have complete trust in him.

They showed their hand in Jacksonville, where Gray was first off the bench after Charles left the game for good in the second half. Davis later received some playing time.

“We mixed it up a little bit,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “We were using Cyrus in some third-down situations. We’re trying to use them the best we could.

“(Gray) is a veteran. He hasn’t been around that long, but he’s been around longer than Knile.’’

Whatever the Chiefs do, they need to run the ball better than they did in Jacksonville after Charles’ departure. Davis and Gray combined for 20 yards on six carries.

“(The Jaguars) loaded the box, which we thought they were going to do when they were down as much as they were down,’’ Reid said. “We’ve got to do a better job there. I can help them there a little bit with some of the (play) calls.’’