Guess who’s hurt again? Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is looking doubtful for his Week 6 Monday night showdown against the Indianapolis Colts. After sustaining a concussion during their Week 5 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Mathews was held out of practice all week as a result of not completing the NFL’s concussion protocol.
After missing practice all week, it’s unlikely that the Chargers coaching staff will allow Mathews to play even if he’s feeling up for it by Monday. Mathews’ injury comes at a pivotal point in the Chargers 2-3 season. They can keep themselves relevant in the extremely competitive AFC West with a win, or slip back into another season of mediocrity with a loss.
Oddly enough, Mathews’ absence shouldn’t hurt the team too much. With a quiet 3.49 yards per carry and only 1 touchdown, the Chargers have done their winning on the arm of quarterback Philip Rivers. Although some of Mathews’ downfalls can be attributed to a banged-up offensive line, his health is the biggest factor for his despondent play.
Professional football has not treated Mathews too well in his short 4 year career. Whether sidelined by injuries or playing hurt, the 26 year old has not been able to complete a 16 game season yet. As the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Mathews has certainly been a disappointment.
Is this the beginning of the end for Mathews? Chargers fans sure hope so. After patiently waiting 3 years for him to breakout, restlessness has replaced that calm California state of mind. Unless he shows he can stay healthy and put up huge numbers, expect to see the Chargers draft a highly ranked running-back next season.