Mathews is coming off his worst season in the NFL after he averaged a career low 3.8 yards per rushing attempt to go along with a career low one rushing touchdown.
San Diego’s front office and coaching staff had high expectations for Mathews because they completed a trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the 12th pick in round one of the 2010 NFL Draft to select him.
Mathews ranked 10th in the NFL with 1,091 rushing yards in 2011, and no one in the top 10 equaled his 4.9 yards per rushing attempt. He got off to a tough start last year when he broke his clavicle against the Green Bay Packers in an August preseason game. This caused Mathews to miss the first two games of the 2012 season and his season ended in week 15 when he broke his other clavicle against the Carolina Panthers.
Former Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner said that Mathews could be like Ricky Williams. In order for this to happen, Mathews has to stay healthy enough to be a workhorse like Williams.
While Mathews was San Diego’s primary running back, he was not the only problem last season because the team averaged 3.6 yards per rushing attempt which ranked 31st in the league.
The one positive for Mathews in an otherwise dreadful 2012 season was that he had two fumbles in 12 games after fumbling five times in each of his first two seasons.
If Mathews bounces back in 2013 and is anywhere near the RB he was in 2011, it would be huge for the Lighting Bolts because it will take pressure away from Philip Rivers and San Diego’s receivers.