This season, for the primary time throughout his four-year NFL career, Ryan Mathews took part in all sixteen games. He even played through an ankle injury during the final couple of weeks of the regular season, though it did not appear to slow him down abounded. He totaled at least 119 yards in each of his final four regular-season games.
However, that ankle issue flared up during Sunday’s wild-card tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals, and it forced him to miss most of the second half. After the Chargers won, Mathews said he intends to play against the Denver Broncos next week.
He’ll have a full week to recuperate, since the Chargers-Broncos tilt is Sunday, so he may well be ready to go. On the other hand, we won’t get a true read on his status until we see whether he can take part in practices later this week. If the Chargers are going to win Sunday, they likely will need Mathews to come up big, just as he did when he popped off 127 rushing yards and a score as they upended the Broncos in Week 15.
Now, he could even miss Wednesday and Thursday this week, practice tomorrow, and have a subpar game and it not have anything to do with his ankle. If he’s hobbling around tomorrow or misses it outright, then the Bolts can start altering expectations. We’ll find out more Friday.
“My mindset is I’m playing,” said Mathews. “We keep fighting. Coach (Mike) McCoy says it all the time. It’s the next man up. We’re all ready.”
Merril Hoge and Herm Edwards discuss what San Diego needs to do to beat Denver in the AFC divisional playoffs.