Mathews has a history of being injury prone one season and healthy the next year because he missed five of Fresno State’s 13 games during the 2008 NCAA season, but missed one game during the 2009 season.
In Mathews’ rookie season, he missed four of San Diego’s 16 games, missed two games in 2011 and missed four games last year after breaking his clavicle. If this trend continues, Mathews should be healthy for most of 2013.
San Diego chose Mathews to be the replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson, who was released after the 2009 season before he signed with the New York Jets.
Mathews showed potential during the 2011 season when he ranked seventh in the NFL with 1,546 yards from scrimmage, 10th in rushing yards and 12th in rushing yards per attempt.
The 2012 season was a struggle for Mathews as he ranked 23rd in yards per game and 32nd in yards per attempt, among 44 players who qualified for these categories. Mathews also had a career low one rushing touchdown.
Mathews was injured to start the 2012 season when he broke his clavicle in the preseason and missed the first two regular season games. Mathews cut down on his fumbles for the first time in the NFL, which was a positive in an otherwise disappointing season for the former first round pick.
I expect Mathews to stay relatively healthy in 2013 and he will be part of a rushing attack that should be much improved from ranking 27th in rushing yards, 31st in yards per attempt and last in rushing touchdowns.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has been open about his support for Mathews as San Diego’s primary RB and the Lighting Bolts need Mathews to have a bounce back season in 2013.