Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles practices

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jamaal Charles returned to practice Thursday and took his usual spot as the featured back in the Kansas City Chiefs' offense. The only difference was that Charles was on the scout team, working against the starting Chiefs defense and running the plays of this week's preseason opponent, the Minnesota Vikings.

"He gives us a good look in there," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "I'm glad to see him out there, period."

Charles bruised his foot last week moving out of the players' dorm at training camp at Missouri Western State University. Charles didn't play in Sunday night's loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The fact that Charles was running the Vikings' plays, and not the Chiefs', indicates he won't play on Saturday night, either. The Chiefs said that decision hasn't been made. Charles' preseason could be finished, though the Chiefs still could give him some work in the final preseason game on Aug. 28 against the Packers in Green Bay.

If not, his preseason will have consisted of three carries for 12 yards and two receptions for nine yards in the opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

It's not unusual for injured starters who are working their way back into the lineup to get some work with the scout team. It is unusual for players of Charles' stature, however.

"It's just a way for (Charles) to get work and not take away from guys that are definitely playing in this game," Sutton said.

Rookie running back De'Anthony Thomas returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday's session. But the Chiefs were still without injured safety Eric Berry and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.

Berry has yet to play in a preseason game and is unlikely to be available against the Vikings. Perhaps out of concern for his status, the Chiefs acquired safety Kelcie McCray from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in return for backup offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson.

McCray has played in 15 games with no starts over the past two seasons with Tampa Bay and Miami.