Chiefs need to get a longer look at Davis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have to be encouraged by the recent play of rookie running back Knile Davis. He returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos. Davis then had his busiest and most productive game and scored his first touchdown as a runner in Sunday's win over the Redskins in Washington.

Davis is becoming a more intriguing player for the Chiefs, not just for the rest of this season but beyond. Earlier in the season, his progress was so minimal that it appeared the Chiefs needed to add a veteran back to spell Jamaal Charles.

That no longer looks necessary. In the bigger picture, Davis may be good enough to go into next season as Charles' top backup and eventually become his successor as Kansas City's featured back.

That's why it's important for the Chiefs to get as much of a look at Davis as possible over the season's final three games. The Chiefs appear destined for a wild-card playoff spot, though they don't have one clinched yet.

They can accomplish that this weekend. Once they're safely in the postseason and can't catch the Denver Broncos and win the AFC West, the Chiefs will be in position to rest some of their stars and give more playing time to some of their younger players.

Davis needs to be one of the young players who gets plenty of work in the last game or two. Let him run the ball 25 times in a game. Throw it to him a few times. Put him in pass protection on occasion (as long as Alex Smith isn't in the game).

Then the Chiefs will have a better idea whether Davis can be their featured back next season if Charles is injured. At the same time, the Chiefs would be providing Charles some much needed downtime, no small benefit once the playoffs roll around.