Tailback Ryan Mathews expects to play Monday against the Denver Broncos, though only in certain packages with which he is most familiar.
“I’m getting better every day,” said Mathews, who hasn't practiced since re-injuring his ankle Nov. 7 at Houston. “Probably just a couple more days.”
Tight end Antonio Gates, meanwhile, is unsure whether he will get to face the Broncos.
"I've never had to be 100 percent to play," said Gates, who played in 94 straight games before missing the Houston game with a torn plantar fascia. "But still there is a criteria which you need to meet to get out there on the field -- that's being able to run, being able to do something off the foot where it doesn't bother me. I've got a ways to go ... At this point, I'm trying to give myself a chance to play.
"It's a tear. It's brutal. It's pain ... This is probably as frustrated as I've been in my career based on the recovery time."
Because it's a Monday night, Mathews and Gates each become a risky play, especially not being 100% leading up to the game. In Mathews' case, it will help to be a Tolbert owner if Mathews is a no-go, but if both play it could be a disadvantage.