Sunday, September 28, 2014, 2:56pm
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:33pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 4. With Danny Woodhead also out, Donald Brown should see a big workload as the team’s featured back. The diminutive Branden Oliver may work some in the Woodhead role.
You’ll see a whole lot of RB Donald Brown on Sunday, with a little bit of rookie Branden Oliver sprinkled in. Brown can certainly carry the load. He rushed 31 times for 62 yards against Buffalo. But the Chargers are averaging a league-worst 2.43 yards per carry. Brown needs to pop a couple of big runs to loosen up Jacksonville’s defense. The Chargers also signed Shaun Draughn as a third running back for depth.
We have Brown ranked as a top 5 RB due to his anticipated workload and a good matchup with the Jaguars.
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:48pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed practice again Thursday. With Danny Woodhead out, Donald Brown should see a big workload as the team’s featured back. The diminutive Branden Oliver may work some in the Woodhead role.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 7:09pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) did not practice Wednesday. With Danny Woodhead out, Donald Brown should see a big workload as the team’s featured back. The diminutive Branden Oliver may work some in the Woodhead role.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters that Danny Woodhead suffered a broken fibula in yesterday’s game, and would be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
They’ll have to make do with Donald Brown now, and after he touched the ball 36 times yesterday, he’s clearly ready for a heavy workload.
The only hope for the Chargers is that he holds up until Mathews returns.
Branden Oliver will likely see a bigger workload too after getting just three carries for 11 yards in Week 3, but it looks like Brown will be a solid play just based on workload alone. The team will probably have to make a room for another back until Mathews gets back.
Woodhead suffered a fibula and right ankle injury during the Chargers' opening drive in Buffalo, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, per a San Diego source. He remained on the field for several minutes before being carted to the locker room and did not return to the 22-10 win.
Woodhead will have more tests Monday, but the team is concerned it's a fractured fibula, which could end his season. With Mathews expected to miss a month with a sprained MCL, Donald Brown took over in the backfield after Woodhead went down. Branden Oliver becomes the primary backup on a suddenly thin depth chart. The Bolts will probably have to make another move to add a RB.
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9:54am
With Ryan Mathews expected to miss some time with an MCL sprain, many are looking toward Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown to pick up the slack with extra touches. However, there is another running back on the active roster that the Bolts.
Undrafted rookie Branden Oliver earned a spot on the team with a standout offseason, training camp as well as his preseason performances. Averaging a team-high 4.6 yards per carry, Oliver ran for 161 yards on 35 carries for one touchdown in four games. While inactive up until this point, the team has full faith in him should his number be called.
“He’ll be ready to go,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said. “He had a great offseason program with us. He had a good training camp and he’s ready to go.”
With three talented backs ahead of him on the depth chart, Oliver was a healthy scratch the first two weeks of the season but will make his Chargers debut in Week 3. With Woodhead and Brown capable of splitting carries, Oliver's workload is a big question mark and probably isn't worth a roster spot in typical leagues. But, he's now just an injury away from perhaps playing a huge role...
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 3. Mathews will reportedly miss 4-5 weeks with a sprained knee. Donald Brown takes over as the primary early down back, but Danny Woodhead will be plenty involved.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed practice again Thursday. Mathews will reportedly miss 4-5 weeks with a sprained knee. Donald Brown takes over as the primary early down back, but Danny Woodhead will be plenty involved.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Mathews will reportedly miss 4-5 weeks with a sprained knee. Donald Brown takes over as the primary early down back, but Danny Woodhead will be plenty involved.
Reports of the MCL sprain came pretty early Sunday night which gave hope it wasn't anything more serious after he was carted off, but owners were likely hoping for something a little less. Dating back to last year, Mathews had posted either 100 yards or a TD in 8 of his last 9 regular games before this week. Donald Brown looks like he'll get a majority of carries with Danny Woodhead also chipping in. Next on the depth chart is Branden Oliver who could also contribute. In an update Monday night, the Chargers didn't put a timetable on Mathews return.
Updates overnight confirm it's a sprained MCL which owners should consider somewhat good news for now. Mathews was carted off the field in the team's victory over the Seahawks. If Mathews can't play, Donald Brown would likely see more touches with Danny Woodhead mixing in and remaining a presence in the passing game. Branden Oliver is next up on the depth chart and could figure in as well. The good news for the Bolts in their schedule eases up with favorable matchups against the run the next two weeks (Buffalo, Jacksonville).
And that should bode well for both them and Mathews, 26.
In the months since a game but gimpy Mathews sat out most of the Division Playoff loss at Denver, Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy have added three running backs to the 53-man roster while also retaining third-down specialist Danny Woodhead and subtracting Ronnie Brown. Giving the run game another dimension, Telesco signed David Johnson, a fullback-tight end noted for his blocking.
We'll see how long rookie backs Marion Grice and Branden Oliver will stay on the active roster behind another Telesco addition, Donald Brown, the ex-Colt who averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year. The kids look they could help in a pinch, but other roster moves this week could affect one of them.
At any rate, it made sense to give Mathews more cushion. As terrific as he was last year, overcoming a concussion and ankle sprain, powering the team's late run into the playoffs and never missing a start, it would’ve been foolish to be as dependent on him this year.
The plan seems to be to ride Mathews on occasion but it really seems like the team wants to ease his workload to keep him healthy down the stretch for a possible playoff run. It's not the first time we heard this, as similar reports were out even before camp. That likely means more work for Brown and Woodhead. Mathews had just two, 20-plus carry games through Dec. 1 last year, but the final four weeks of the season went 29-29-25-24 and wasn't able to get over a high ankle sprain. Look for the Bolts to keep Mathews in the 13-19 range, which is where he was for most of the September-November.
Colts RB Trent Richardson’s first run of the preseason was for 8 yards, giving the indication that good things were to come with him. But he gained only 26 yards since then. The New York Giants, according to HC Chuck Pagano, loaded up the box on more than 20 of the first 30 plays of their preseason game last weekend. Richardson’s two longest runs -- 8 yards each -- came with Andrew Luck in the shotgun. Richardson's running with better instincts. It's just not showing up in the results, which is the determining factor.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
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