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Chiefs optimistic Jamaal Charles will return for playoffs

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The Kansas City Chiefs hope Jamaal Charles won't be on the shelf the rest of the season.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that while the running back's surgery to trim his meniscus landed him injured reserve, the procedure could allow Charles to return in weeks rather than months.

The Chiefs could use the designated to return tag after Charles sits out eight weeks.

The target date for a return is Week 17 if the Chiefs need him, or, more likely, if K.C. makes the playoffs and Charles is deemed healthy, he could be back for a potential postseason run, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation.

Before Dr. James Andrews performed surgery on Charles, the exact nature of the injury wasn't revealed in the MRI. Instead of needing to repair the meniscus -- like Adrian Peterson underwent -- Charles needed only a trim, which was as minor as the surgery could have been, thus the optimism for a return.

Spencer Ware has been impressive replacing Charles this season but will miss at least one week after suffering a concussion. Charcandrick West will get most of the snaps this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Charles was ineffective this season after returning from an ACL tear. If he's healthy in January, the veteran could add another element to a playoff run. At this point, that's a gargantuan IF.

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