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Steelers defense should be concerned with Knile Davis as well as Jamaal Charles

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The Chiefs' backup has run well in place of Charles, who's arguably the NFL's best running back over the last three years.

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An argument can be made for Jamaal Charles being the best running back in the NFL over the last three seasons.

He's 50 yards shy of the fifth 1,000-yard season of his career and he's the NFL leader in total touchdowns with 14. Charles is also banged up, as a head injury along with several nagging leg injuries are hobbling the Kansas City superstar.

After taking a big hit last week in a win against the Raiders, Charles had to pass concussion protocol before reentering the game for one play, ultimately resting on the sideline with the outcome of the game well in hand. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has already said Charles will play this weekend, although it could be in a somewhat limited capacity.

Steelers fans would be wise not to prematurely celebrate the decline of Charles' potential workload. Knile Davis, Kansas City's backup running back, has produced solid numbers when he has needed to step up. Davis has 576 scrimmage yards this season to go along with seven touchdowns. Although his numbers lately have been less than stellar, his decline in production can be attributed to the relative well-being of Charles. In fact, earlier this season when Charles missed some time with a knee injury, Davis filled in nicely, rushing for 318 yards on 70 carries and scoring three touchdowns over a three-game stretch.

Davis' value has certainly been clouded by the brilliance of Charles. But, the former University of Arkansas standout has proven his ability to be a solid producer when he needs to be. So if Charles is hobbled at all this weekend, the Steelers could find themselves with their hands full if Davis is called into action.

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