Ryan Mathews was a first round pick for the San Diego Chargers during the 2010 NFL Draft. San Diego moved up from the 28th to the 12th pick in that round by trading their first round pick, a second round pick, a fourth round pick and linebacker Tim Dobbins to the Miami Dolphins.
San Diego also acquired a fourth round pick and a sixth round pick in that year’s draft to go along with the 12th pick.
Mathews missed five games during the 2008 NCAA season with a knee injury, missed four games as a rookie in 2010 with an ankle injury, missed two games last season with a groin and a calf injury as well as broke his clavicle on August 9, 2012.
Mathews missed the first two games of the 2012 NFL season, but should be back on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. San Diego has seen a history of their first round picks who missed games because of injuries.
Shawne Merriman was drafted in 2005, led the NFL in sacks with 17 during the 2006 season despite missing four games, he missed 15 games in 2008, suffered an injury in 2010 and was eventually released.
Luis Castillo was drafted in 2005, missed six games in 2006, six games in 2007 and 15 games last season before being released by the Chargers.
Antonio Cromartie was drafted in 2006, played the 2008 season with a broken hip, his effort was questioned in a playoff loss during the 2009 season and he was traded.
Craig Davis was drafted in 2007, missed 12 games in 2008, 15 games in 2009 and nine games in 2010 before being released.
Larry English was drafted in 2009, missed eight games in 2010 and 11 games last season.
Mathews showed that he is capable of making an impact last season when he ranked 10th in rushing yards and 12th in rushing yards per game among all NFL players. Mathews’ 4.9 yards per attempt ranked first among players in the top 10 in rushing yards as well.
Mathews is signed through the 2014 NFL season, but with the history of first round picks and injuries for the Chargers, will one more injury be the breaking point for San Diego’s front office?