Chiefs coach Haley still hasn’t picked starting RB

Chiefs fans wanting to know who will start at running back must wait until Sunday.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Friday that he hasn’t decided whether Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith or Dantrell Savage will start against the Raiders.

“Depends what play we decide to open with probably,” Haley said.

Charles, a second-year pro, started last weekend against the Jaguars and had 36 yards on six carries. Savage, also in his second season, had just four yards on two carries.

The most interesting prospect might be Smith. He had 17 yards on four carries against the Jaguars in his first game since he recovered from a 2008 knee injury. However, he has started nine games in his three-year Chiefs career with some success.

“This is a major injury that he’s come back from, and I think it would be unrealistic to believe that a guy after 12 months of surgery, rehab and all the things he’s done would be expected to come in and be at the top of his game,” Haley said. “He’s worked very hard; he’s practiced now four weeks, so I would say he’s getting better. But given the circumstances, it’s probably asking too much to feel like this guy is going to be the best he’s going to be.”

The Chiefs need to find a starting running back after they cut Larry Johnson, a former Pro Bowler. Johnson was suspended for the Jacksonville game because of inappropriate comments he made to fans and reporters, and the team released him earlier this week.

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