The Chargers got some promising news in their banged up backfield as starting running back Ryan Mathews practiced with the team on Friday.
Unfortunately, it won’t translate into help on the field Sunday, as Mathews won’t suit up when the Bolts travel to Miami to face the Dolphins.
He hasn’t played since leaving with a knee sprain in Week 2. But the news is encouraging as we look forward the stretch run.
“It was fun and just felt good to be out there again with the guys,” Mathews said.
The running game has struggled at times without Mathews, as well as Danny Woodhead – who was lost for the season on the first play of Week 3 to a knee injury.
Since then, the team saw undrafted rookie Branden Oliver rush for back-to-back 100-yard games. He leads the team with 352 yards on the ground, but the Bolts still rank 30th in the league, averaging just 85.8 rushing yards a game.
Donald Brown has had opportunities to take over the lead role, but is averaging just 2.1 yards on 59 carries this year.
Expect Oliver and familiar face Ronnie Brown – who signed with the Houston Texans in the offseason only to rejoin the Chargers a few weeks ago – to get a majority of the workload again on Sunday, as the team waits for Mathews to get back into game action.