San Diego Chargers starting running back Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle in the team’s first preseason game this year. Mathews was expected to miss 4-6 weeks at the time of his injury, which occurred on August 9, 2012 against the Green Bay Packers.
According to Gregg Rosenthal of nfl.com, Mathews is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons. Mathews finished the 2011 NFL season with 222 rushing attempts, 1,091 yards and six rushing touchdowns.
Mathews ranked 10th in total rushing yards and he was 12th in rushing yards per game with 78. Mathews had 4.9 yards per attempt which ranked first among players in the top 10 in total rushing yards.
The most rushing attempts that Mathews had in a game happened during the 2010 season when he had 26 attempts for 120 yards and three touchdowns against the Denver Broncos.
The most rushing yards that Mathews had happened last season against Denver when he had 137 yards on 22 attempts. If Mathews is ready to play tomorrow against Atlanta, one has to wonder how much San Diego will involve him in the offense.
Mathews missed five games in college during the 2008 season, missed four games as a rookie in 2010, two games last season and two games this season. It would be smart for San Diego to work Mathews into the offense slowly because of his injury history.
Mathews averaged 16 rushing attempts per game last season to go along with about 3.6 receptions per game. If Mathews plays tomorrow, the Chargers should give him 10-15 rushing attempts with a couple of targets as a receiver.
Mathews could be a big factor in the present and the future for San Diego, and hopefully he will make his 2012 regular season debut tomorrow.