Jamaal Charles hasn’t participated in his first practice, and yet he’s already involved in the Denver community.
Charles was one of several Denver Broncos participating in an NFL Play 60 all-abilities football skills clinic Tuesday at the team’s Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse. The event was conducted in partnership with the Special Olympics.
“Sometimes they give up on these people right here,’’ Charles said. “That’s why it brings tears my heart just seeing these kids, playing with them and getting excited.’’
As a kid with a learning disability, Charles once won a gold medal in a Special Olympics track event.
Wearing Montee Ball’s old No. 28, Charles gave a brief speech to the kids at the clinic.
“I think kids are the world,’’ he said to the Denver media. “Kids are the future. We’ve got to pass everything down to them and that’s a big part of my heart. Kids, they’re innocent. They’re innocent kids. We bring them in innocent and sometimes they grow up without parents or mothers and fathers … and that’s why they’re a big part of my heart.’’
Charles is a five-time, 1,000-yard rusher coming off his second consecutive season-ending knee injury. Although he has been cleared to practice, the Broncos are being extra cautious with him. He has been observing the Broncos’ offseason practices the past two days, but he has not been participating.
Still, he’s been around in the Broncos’ locker room and running backs meetings and that’s the start of getting acclimated after spending nine seasons with the rival Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s set in,’’ Charles said. “It feels weird coming to work, coming in, putting another jersey on, but it’s an exciting weird. I’m excited about a new chapter. I’m excited about the energy.’’