San Diego Chargers' Ryan Mathews Growing Into His Own Shoes

By Erwin Mendoza
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego ChargersRyan Matthews is quietly having a resurgent season with San Diego. On a national stage, Matthews turned out his fifth 100 yard rushing game. Mathews’ final stat line in Denver was 29 rush attempts for 127 yards with one touchdown. Through 14 games, Mathews is a 1,000 yard rusher, placing him in the top 10 rushers in the NFL.

Where has this Matthews been? Philip Rivers even mentioned that when the Chargers drafted No. 24 he was expected to replace LaDainian Tomlinson. Now in his fourth professional season, he’s able to be Ryan Matthews.

In his short career, Matthews has been plagued with two things, injuries and turnovers. In his rookie season, he only appeared in 12 games due to an ankle injury. In 2012, Matthews suffered a broken left clavicle that ended his season around this time last year. This year, it was a hamstring injury early in the season. Although he has battled the ongoing hamstring injury, the injury has not held him to miss significant game time.

His handling of the ball improved in 2013. He has fumbled twice this year, just matching his last year’s total fumbles; the worst of his turnover issues looks like they’re behind him. In both his rookie and sophomore seasons, he fumbled five times.

No trades, no cuts, Mathews stays. Rivers has a two-headed monster in the backfield with Mathews and Danny Woodhead. Having Woodhead there is much like having Darren Sproles back, and like the Tomlinson-Turner-Sproles era, Mathews is their main guy to win games.

If it’s not Rivers for NFL Comeback Player of the Year, it has to be Mathews.

Erwin Mendoza is a San Diego Chargers writer for Follow him on Twitter @erwinsports, or add him to your network on Google.

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