It’s no surprise the San Diego Chargers were most effective offensively Sunday against the New England Patriots when Ryan Mathews churned out yards running the football. In the first half, Mathews carried the ball nine times for 52 yards, averaging a robust 5.8 yards per carry.
However, with a little more than two minutes left in the opening half, Mathews appeared to suffer a right leg injury on the same leg that kept him out seven games this season with an MCL knee sprain. Mathews limped off the field and was late coming out for the second half.
Mathews carried the ball only two times for minus-8 yards the rest of the game. He’s still wearing a bulky brace to protect the injured knee, a sign that his stability returning from the injury is not 100 percent. The brace also appears to limit his mobility.
The Chargers say Mathews is healthy and pointed out he did return to the game and did some nice things in pass protection. Keeping Mathews healthy this time of year was a priority for the Bolts and a reason they brought in Donald Brown. But it appears Mathews, between the brace and now his leg, is at least a little banged up heading into Week 15. As we've pointed out for a few weeks now, the SD running backs have tough matchups to close out their season and in the fantasy playoffs, which includes the Broncos Week 15 and at San Francisco Week 16.