Mathews said that he was aiming to come back at the earliest which would be Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders. As of yesterday, Mathews has not been cleared for contact. This could be a problem with the game just three days away.
San Diego backup RB Ronnie Brown has had success against Oakland. In four games against them, Brown has 70 rushing attempts, 378 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Mathews has not received enough touches to put together a great game against Oakland.
In two career games against the Raiders, Mathews has 15 rushing attempts, 93 yards and no touchdowns. Although Mathews did not received enough touches against Oakland, San Diego is 0-2 against them with Mathews.
San Diego is 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Raiders in Oakland including a win last season that ended Oakland’s playoff chances. While Mathews and Oakland’s starting RB Darren McFadden missed that game, Oakland is 1-3 against the Raiders with McFadden.
If Mathews is not ready to go by Monday, he should return for San Diego’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans on September 16, 2012.
Mathews was San Diego’s first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In college, Mathews missed five games in 2008 with a knee injury. Mathews missed four games during his rookie season and missed two games last season.
While Mathews had injury problems in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the amount of regular season games he missed continues to decline. Hopefully the latter trend will continue for Mathews and the Chargers because they need him for this season and their future.