Kansas City is bringing back running back Charcandrick West, who is familiar with the Chiefs’ system, having spent several seasons with the team before getting cut in training camp.
West signed Monday to replace Kareem Hunt, who was released last week after a video of him engaging in a physical confrontation with a woman became public. Yet the bulk of the carries will belong to Spencer Ware, who was supposed to be the starter last year before a preseason knee injury landed him on injured reserve.
And lest anyone think there will be a major drop-off, consider that Ware’s career average of 4.6 yards per carry is almost identical to that of Hunt, and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is just as potent. Ware ran for 47 of the Chiefs’ 174 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 40-33 win at Oakland and had a five-yard catch.
“He’s been doing it for a while now,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “He’s been a staple of this organization since he’s been here. He’s worked his tail off to be in the position that he is in. And he got back from an injury last year that set him back. He wasn’t allowed to be a part of what we were doing last year.”
West, who joined the team in 2014 as an undrafted free agent from Abilene Christian, led the Chiefs with 634 yards rushing in 2015 but was used primarily as a third-down back in subsequent seasons. In 2017, he had only 18 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
Panthers fire Hoke in shakeup
Carolina fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary-cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura and demoted defensive coordinator Eric Washington, with coach Ron Rivera taking over defensive play-calling duties.
The Panthers, who have lost four in a row, are 14th in the league in defense and have allowed the 12th-most points. Carolina has forced one turnover in the last four games and is tied for 19th in the league in sacks.