Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of Abilene Christian University, and he spent the first nine weeks of the 2014 season on the practice squad.
Working primarily on special teams and playing just 4 offensive snaps after he was called up to the 53-man roster that year, West would prove to be one of the standouts of offseason workouts and training camp for the Chiefs before the 2015 season.
It wouldn't be long before West would be challenged to take that ability to the game field.
When the franchise's all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, was lost for the season due to a knee injury suffered in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears, West would be given that opportunity.
In Charles' absence, West finished the season as the team's rushing leader with 160 carries for 634 yards and 4 touchdowns, also adding 214 yards receiving with a touchdown through the air.
West was one of the key offensive sparks for the Chiefs at the beginning of their franchise-record 11-game winning streak.
Heading into Week 7 after the Chiefs began the season with a 1-5 record, West carried the ball 66 times for 276 yards for 3 touchdowns in the next three games—all wins, adding 136 yards receiving and a touchdown as well.
The 412 yards of total offense during those three games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos are exactly what the Chiefs needed at the time.
Photo highlights of Charcandrick West
HOW HE FITS
West was rewarded over the offseason with a contract extension.
From undrafted free agent to the practice squad and then a starter with a contract extension all within the span of a year, West was excited to commit to staying with the team that first gave him an opportunity to pursue his dream.
"I told them I just want to play football," West said at the time of his extension. "I'm not a person out looking for money. That's not what this thing is about. I'm just happy to still be in that same room and the same team with my brothers, man, and that's all I've really been worried about. I want to stay a Chief for life.
"The day that I start playing this game for money is the day that I need to go home. You all see me out there having fun. I still see the game as a game, and I like to have fun. When it starts to become a business like that, that's when stuff starts to go wrong in my eyes."
West fits into one of the deepest and most talented running back groups in the entire league.
Looking at the Current Chiefs Running Backs
After Charles' injury, West and Spencer Ware combined to rush for more than 1,000 yards with 10 touchdowns in the final 10 regular season games of 2015—all of which were wins.
Now that Charles—the NFL's all-time leader in career yards per carry—returns to the lineup that has made him a household name, the Chiefs are loaded at running back and West should figure into the mix once again.