The San Diego Chargers has been hit hard early in the season, with injuries to All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates and running back Ryan Matthews. But the stars return are looking brighter and brighter as week three’s game against the Atlanta Falcons comes closer.
Chargers head coach Norv Turner spoke to the media in regards to how Matthews has performed during practice and since he has been in pads and practicing with the team fully, but has not been taking any hits everyone wanted to get an answer on his return.
“Matthews looks outstanding. He’s done a great job with his conditioning, I think he’s done a great job staying on top of what we’re doing. He took enough reps that I think we tested his conditioning today. We’re making the progress I hoped to see us make. We’re in pads. If you’re out there you’re going to get banged around. If you’re running with the ball you’re going to get bounced around a little. It’s not at a game level but I think Mathews feels very confident.
From a standpoint of our team, I keep looking at Atlanta and they are certainly one of the most complete teams in the league. Defensively they are very active, they can rush the passer, they lead the league in takeaways offensively, they’re second in the league in scoring, they run the ball, they throw the ball, they have big play receivers, they have one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the league and they’re very athletic on special teams.
It’s a match-up where we’re just going to have to be at our best and play a complete football game.”
But, Matthews may be looking good and took enough reps in practice, but it does not matter how many reps the star running back takes in practice as practice and game day are two different beats. Coach Turner, made a quick statement regarding the possibility of his return for Sunday’s season three match-up.
“We don’t have to make that decision right now but based on what I saw today, as long as everything goes smooth and he doesn’t have a setback, yes I am confident.”
So, it looks like Matthews, may be returning to the field as soon as Sunday’s game. But, what about it’s other star player on the 2012 Chargers roster? Antonio Gates?
“We’re in a good situation, I was talking to our trainer James Collins about it today, it’s amazing when everyone is practicing and everyone is taking their reps, no one gets worn down. We’re in a good situation now with Randy McMichael, Antonio Gates, and now you add Ladarius Green into the mix. One guy doesn’t have to go out and take 45 reps in a practice. We can mix it up and take some pressure off of them. The reps that Gates got, he was full speed and looked good.”
The return of the star players, will return the Chargers to the top of the AFC West and if both can stay healthy for the rest of the season and the Chargers can get to the playoffs and on top of it’s division and the league.