San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs for a short gain during the first half against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Mathews expected to play next week

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews has finally fulfilled his potential by turning into a legitimate feature back this season, and that’s allowed the Chargers offense to give Philip Rivers more of a cushion. Mathews’s improved play has also helped the Chargers upset foes like the Denver Broncos, because they can play a ball-control style of offense in addition to staying in high-scoring games with Rivers at QB (I say “staying in” instead of “winning”, because that defense still can’t be trusted in shootouts). The Chargers got revenge on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday by disposing of them in a 26-13 victory, and Mathews carried the rock 25 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. Danny Woodhead was excellent in a change-of-pace role, and it’s clear that Woodhead has helped Mathews and Rivers out quite a bit, thus becoming a key dimension in the Chargers offense. The Chargers knew that Woodhead would be an excellent fit for them, and he’s panned out perfectly.

Anyway, back to Mathews. He received a huge workload against the Raiders and ended up going down with an ankle injury. He was able to return to the game without any issues, but there were some concerns raised when Mathews was seen wearing a walking boot in the locker room following the game. The Chargers didn’t give any updates regarding the severity of the injury, but it was assumed that Mathews merely suffered a stinger (again, he went back into the game without any issues) and only wore the boot as a precaution.

According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Eric D. Williams , Chargers head coach Mike McCoy pretty much downplayed the extent of Mathews’s injury, and thus it is believed that he will play in next week’s crucial game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers already beat the Chiefs earlier this season and the Chiefs might rest their starters, but they still definitely need Mathews to be healthy for that tilt in order to make the playoffs. Nobody should have expected Mathews’s injury to cost him next week’s game, but this news confirms that Mathews will most likely be out there.

Tags: Injury Report Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers

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