Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (shoulder, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 13. Mathews is expected to play in a tough matchup against the Ravens. He’s a low-end RB2 this week.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:20pm
With Ryan Mathews having missed so much time and the confidence existing in his backfield mates, the Chargers were committed to a rotation at the position, possibly to a fault. Mathews was rotated out following a 19-yard run in the second quarter, and the drive stalled shortly thereafter with a quarterback Philip Rivers interception on third-and-goal.
For that matter, Mathews spent much of the second quarter on the sideline, as the Chargers were in their two-minute offense to end it.
He was the offense's central point to begin the third quarter, capped the team's opening drive with a 32-yard touchdown. The scoring run was the longest of his career.
Mathews exited with a shoulder injury when at least one player, perhaps two, fell on top of him. He returned late in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers are committed to keep Mathews fresh and healthy, although that didn't seem to help this week. But they want Donald Brown and now Branden Oliver to get their work so Mathews is ready to go at key parts of the game, and perhaps more importantly, in the playoffs. Mathews was banged up last year after a stretch of 20-plus carries to end the season and wasn't himself in the postseason. As a result, Mathews' fantasy value will likely be capped, but so far he's making the most of his touches. It's also not a friendly SOS pretty much the rest of the season.
Sunday, November 23, 2014, 2:39pm
Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:26pm
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 12. Antonio Gates made some headlines when he said that Rivers is playing through a “very severe rib injury.” Rivers should be fine for a pretty good matchup with the Rams, though Peyton Manning had trouble against St. Louis last week, and Rivers only has one touchdown pass (versus three interceptions) in his last two games.
Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:26pm
Rams TE Jared Cook (back, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 12. Cook may play against the Chargers, but he’s not good enough to ignore red flags like back injuries and bad matchups.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers clarified his injury status this week, saying he suffered a chest injury falling onto the ball during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game on a sack by Khalil Mack. Rivers said he's been dealing with general soreness, like all players, this time of year, and clarified that Antonio Gates' comments were an attempt to protect his quarterback from criticism for his uneven play the past four weeks. Inconsistent pass protection and a lack of a running game have been more of a contributing factor to Rivers' struggling performance of late.
We're not sure who to believe here. Gates said that Rivers has been dealing with a "very severe rib injury," which makes it sound like it was an ongoing issue, not the chest injury that Rivers is describing from Week 11. Rivers' matchup with the Rams looks good on paper, but St. Louis just shut down the Broncos' passing game, so it's tough to be too optimistic about Rivers this week.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 5:58pm
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest) practiced fully Wednesday. Antonio Gates made some headlines when he said that Rivers is playing through a “very severe rib injury.” Rivers should be fine for a pretty good matchup with the Rams, though Peyton Manning had trouble against St. Louis last week, and Rivers only has one touchdown pass (versus three interceptions) in his last two games.
“It’s never an easy decision when you make a change in the middle part of the season,” Fisher said. “But we looked at things Monday night and had lengthy discussions with the offensive staff, and just felt that the best thing to do at this point going forward was to lean on the experienced quarterback.”
Hill suffered a quad injury in the Rams’ Week 1 loss to the Vikings, and Austin Davis took over at the position. Fisher named Davis the full-time starter following the bye week. The head coach said he told the team today that he appreciated Davis’ hard work, poise, dedication, and tireless effort in preparation. Fisher also noted that when Davis was named the starter, Hill had, for all intents and purposes, lost his job due to injury.
But one of the other red-flag numerals was the team's rushing attempts against the Rams, as in just 10 for the entire game, one of those a kneel-down from quarterback Peyton Manning just before halftime. The Broncos finished with just 28 yards rushing and as a result held on to the ball for just 24 minutes, 10 seconds in the game.
It was the third game this season when the Broncos have finished with fewer than 50 yards rushing and the Broncos are 0-3 in those games, with road losses at Seattle, New England and Sunday's in St. Louis.
"There's no doubt to be the kind of team we want to be, we have to run the ball more," said Broncos head coach John Fox. "There's a mindset, mentality, whether you're on defense trying to stop the run and whether you're on offense running the football … Right now it's something we have to do more, we have to execute better."
Based on last week against the Rams, maybe even Peyton Manning and the Broncos can't get away with dropping back to pass as much as they have as defense can eventually adjust. The story went on to say the 10 carries tied for the Broncos' lowest total since the start of the 1981 season -- two years before the team traded for uber quarterback prospect John Elway. The Broncos had 11 rushing attempts against the San Diego Chargers last season -- the previous low since quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the team -- and the Broncos had 10 carries against the Chargers in the 2008 season finale, Mike Shanahan's last game as the team's head coach. The story went on to say the Broncos are also one of seven teams in the league with fewer than 245 rushing attempts for the season and Denver is the only one of those seven teams with a winning record -- the other six teams have a combined 13-47 record, a list that includes the 0-10 Oakland Raiders as well as the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both 2-8. This week may not get much easier with the Dolphins in town. C.J. Anderson looks like he's going to have to carry the load with both Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman out.
Mathews made the most of 17 touches. He rushed 16 times for 70 yards, including a 20-yard burst. He added one reception. Branden Oliver had 13 carries but surprisingly added just one reception. The Bolts have a tough matchup at home against the Rams in Week 12, but may have to lean more on the running game with the news QB Philip Rivers is suffering from a rib injury.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers took a fourth-quarter shot to the ribs Sunday.
It wasn't the first time, a teammate said.
The Chargers quarterback gave onlookers a couple held-breath moments in the second half, one when his left leg got rolled up on and another when hit to the mid-section on a third-down sack. Following a 13-6 win over the Raiders, tight end Antonio Gates told a group of reporters that rib pain for Rivers was nothing new.
Rivers never exited the game, not for the tweaked knee or rib shot.
He was evaluated on the sideline in both instances. Reserve quarterback Kellen Clemens warmed up after a hunched-over Rivers walked to the sideline following the latter.
Rivers has not appeared on the injury report this season. A team is only required to publicly disclose an injury when that player is considered to be at possible risk of missing the upcoming game, the story said. Rivers said he's no more banged up than any other QB. Rivers has six TDs and six INTs has last four games, though, throwing for 205, 252, 138 and 193 in those four contests.
Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2:41pm