Position analysis: running back

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- We’re continuing our look at the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster with the running backs.

2014 starts for the Chiefs: Jamaal Charles 15, Anthony Sherman 6, Knile Davis 1.

2014 snaps for the Chiefs: Charles 621, Davis 293, Sherman 243, Cyrus Gray 24, Joe McKnight 14, Charcandrick West 4.

Others on roster who didn’t play for Chiefs in 2014: Spencer Ware.

Potential free agent: McKnight.

2014 recap: Charles statistically had his worst season since he was a rookie in 2008 but he was still plenty good. Charles rushed for 1,033 yards and a 5.0 per-carry average. He also scored 14 touchdowns, nine as a runner and five as a receiver. The problem was his inability to get to and stay at 100 percent. He was bothered at various times by ankle, foot and knee problems and he missed an early-season game in Miami. Davis scored seven touchdowns, including a 70-yard catch-and-run in a December game against Oakland. He rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in Charles’ absence against the Dolphins. But he was inconsistent as a pass-receiver and blocker, fumbled at key times and rushed for only 3.5 yards per carry, or 1.5 yards less than Charles.

Looking ahead to 2015: If Charles stays healthy, little should change from last season. Even though he’s played seven NFL seasons, Charles won’t be 29 until late December. He flashed plenty of his old big-play ability when he was healthy last season. Eventually he will need to be replaced and this will be the season for Davis to prove, or disprove, that he can be the full-time featured back. At 227 pounds, Davis is much bigger than Charles (200 pounds) and he might be as fast. Davis has been terrific when he gets in the open field, as he showed in his long touchdown catch against the Raiders and in returning kickoffs. But his per-carry average, which was also 3.5 yards as a rookie in 2013, is disturbing. He hasn’t been able to get something from nothing by making defenders miss or breaking attempted tackles.