Chiefs pass on bigger-name RBs, promote practice-squad player

Chiefs look to Davis, West to replace Jamaal Charles (1:16)

Adam Schefter breaks down the two candidates to replace RB Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, Knile Davis and Charcandrick West. (1:16)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs had some bigger names in for running back workouts on Tuesday: Ben Tate, Pierre Thomas, Isaiah Pead and Bryce Brown.

That they went with an in-house option, Spencer Ware, to replace the injured Jamaal Charles on their roster, would seem to speak well for Ware and their other backs, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis. Ware, who played for the Chiefs in training camp and the preseason, had been on their practice squad.

The Chiefs placed Charles, who tore his ACL in Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears, on the injured-reserve list.

The Chiefs could have had a more accomplished back in any of the four veterans who were sent home without a contract Tuesday. They evidently believed they could get from some combination of West, Davis and Ware at least what they could have received from any or all of the bigger names.

"We thought he had a good preseason and training camp," coach Andy Reid said Monday regarding the possibility of adding Ware. "He had the opportunity to play both (running back and fullback), which makes him valuable. Obviously that’s why we kept him. He’s got good hands and is a good blocker."

West is first in line to get Charles’ playing time, but Davis figures in as well. We’ll find out Sunday against the Vikings in Minnesota whether Ware will be in the playing mix.

"We have a lot of trust in Knile and he’s different, though, than what Jamaal was and what (West) is," Reid said. "So (Charles) and (West) were closer together than what Knile was as far as the quick moves, you know the feet and dancing and all of that stuff. Knile is going to pound you and he’s got real good speed to go with that. And I think when you look at Spencer, he’s probably got a combination of that. He can play a power game, but he’s also got enough elusiveness there.

"You know you’re not going to replace Jamaal. He’s one of the best. Really, when it’s all said and done, one of the best in the history of the game. That’s not how you go about it. You find out and (take advantage of) the strengths of those other players. And that’s the challenge as a coach, to make sure you’re putting them in a good position to do that. We’ve had some success at that position doing that. Knile’s had some big games for us here when he’s been called on. And then Charcandrick is getting better every week, so we can surely move forward and still be successful there."