| Running Back, San Diego Chargers
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|Draft: 2010 Round 1 (12)
College: Fresno State
DOB: 1987-10-10 Age: 27
|After sharing the running back duties with Mike Tolbert last season, Mathews appears ready to take over a workhorse back role with San Diego in 2012. Tolbert signed with Carolina as a free agent and the Chargers will enter the season with the uninspiring trio of Ronnie Brown, Le’Ron McClain and Curtis Brinkley in reserve behind Mathews. That should translate into plenty of touches for the talented Mathews. He enters the season having had a very productive 2011 with 1,545 total yards and six touchdowns despite missing two full games and playing nicked up in several others. Tolbert saw plenty of action last season both as a short yardage runner and the teams’ third down back, pilfering 10 touchdowns. Look for Mathews to assume most of that workload, giving him an opportunity to approach 2,000 total yards and reach double-digit touchdowns for the first time in his career. The only risk with Mathews is his penchant for getting hurt (six missed games over the first two years of his career) but reports out of San Diego indicate that he is in the best shape of his career. He is a legitimate RB1 in 2012 and likely to be amongst the top five fantasy producers at running back.
Comment: Mathews will miss 4-6 weeks after breaking his clavicle. Getting injured after one carry in a preseason game isn't going to ease concerns about Mathews' durability. Best case scenario - he is available for Week 1 - but hopes for a heavy workload early in the season are likely gone.
| Surgery not ruled out for Philip Rivers -- Tue Dec 30 11:55 am --|
Chargers quarterback will take wait-and-see approach
|The season ended Sunday. Philip Rivers' stance on injuries didn't.
The Chargers quarterback remained politely protective over the specifics of a back injury that has ailed him the past month. Offseason surgery, he allowed, is considered an option. Whether it is necessary will be determined in the coming weeks.
As for further details, Rivers didn't go there.
He called such talk "self-serving," not wanting health to affect how his play is evaluated.
There were reports this month that he's dealt with a bulging disk in his lower back, reports that Rivers on Monday called "not exactly accurate." He declined to elaborate further.
Rivers made his 144th consecutive start Sunday since becoming the Chargers' starter in 2006. It's the second-longest active streak in the NFL.
"It just does me no good to say on the record what it was," Rivers said. "I was dealing with sore ribs. I was dealing with the back. Exactly what that was, really, who cares? What I mean is I don't see the reason for it.
"It had no effect on my performance, good or bad the last few weeks; it really didn't. The back maybe was a little tougher over the last few weeks, but it wasn't, 'If I didn't have a bad back, I would have made the throw.' That was never the case. … I felt good enough to play."
Rivers had a 71.2 passer rating in four December games.
It was his lowest single-month rating since November 2007 (68.8).
He was without running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Keenan Allen the final three games, not to mention running back Danny Woodhead and center Nick Hardwick who were placed on injured reserve early this season. The Chargers started their fifth center of the season Sunday. Rivers was sacked seven times, including six times in a 13-dropback span.
Players voted for team awards. They were presented during a Monday meeting.
Rivers, the MVP, finished the year with 4,286 yards, 31 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. (Union-Tribune San Diego)|
FF Today's Take: Rivers is a stubborn guy who can double down on this "injuries don't affect my performance take" all he likes, but fantasy owners need to remember his poor performance down the stretch when they draft their teams next summer. It's not the first time Rivers has concealed an injury and allowed his play to suffer. There are plenty of fantasy quarterbacks to choose from, folks.
| Ryan Mathews not practicing Thursday -- Thu Dec 18 12:39 pm --|
|Ryan Mathews (ankle) again not practicing. Remains to be seen if he's back this regular season. Wasn't close to playing last Sunday. (Michael Gehlken on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: It sounds like Mathews will miss Week 16 leaving Branden Oliver and Donald Brown to carry the workload. Neither will be fantasy options against a good San Francisco run defense.
| QB Philip Rivers doesn't practice Wednesday -- Wed Dec 17 7:16 pm --|
Mathews remains out with ankle injury
|SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers didn't practice Wednesday, although he participated in a morning walkthrough and said he expects to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night when the Chargers try to keep alive their playoff hopes.
"At this point in the week I have no doubt" about playing against the 49ers, Rivers said. The quarterback is listed as having chest and back injuries, although the team hasn't said what the specific injuries are. Also Wednesday, running back Ryan Mathews missed another day of practice.
FF Today's Take: Fantasy owners should not be too worried about Rivers' playing status this weekend. The Chargers are facing a team that may not come to play too hard in San Francisco, however they will be without WR Keenan Allen (neck, ankle) and Ryan Mathews (ankle) doesn't look promising either.
| Ryan Mathews misses another practice Thursday -- Thu Dec 11 3:15 pm --|
Right ankle injury
|Chargers RB Ryan Mathews not practicing today. Yet to this week after right ankle injury Sunday. (Michael Gehlken on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: The link provides footage of how the injury happened; suffice it to say Mathews faces long odds of playing this week with any kind of effectiveness if he is somehow cleared in time. Making matters worse, Mathews' long injury history and the opponent this week (the Denver Broncos) are also working against him. Donald Brown has overtaken Branden Oliver in recent weeks, but the two would likely share touches if Mathews is forced to sit out.
| RB Ryan Mathews practices for Bolts -- Wed Nov 26 3:56 pm --|
Running back not expected to miss time
|Wednesday brought confirmation to every indication Sunday.
A shoulder injury is not expected to force Ryan Mathews to miss time.
The Chargers running back was sidelined for much of the second half against the Rams due to the third-quarter ailment, suffered when tackle D.J. Fluker and linebacker Alec Ogletree fell on top of him, about 600 pounds of body weight pushing his left shoulder into the ground. Mathews returned late in the fourth quarter.
(San Diego Union-Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Mathews (shoulder) was effective last week despite netting only twelve carries. However, he faces a stiffer test against a Ravens rush defense that ranks 5th in the league. Barring setbacks in practice, Mathews should see enough touches to be a useful RB3 or flex option for week 13.
| Ryan Mathews practices Wednesday -- Wed Nov 12 3:05 pm --|
Expected to start Sunday
|There was outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. There was inside linebacker Manti Te'o. There were running back Ryan Mathews and outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu.
Four Chargers who've missed a combined 25 games this season practiced Wednesday. Mathews is expected to start Sunday. (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: All systems go for Mathews who has missed seven games with a sprained MCL, should take over the starting role on Sunday. Branden Oliver will serve as the backup.
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