Mathews hoping to play against Broncos


SAN DIEGO — Ryan Mathews gingerly made his way to the locker room wearing a brace on his left ankle as he left the field at the San Diego Chargers‘ practice on Friday.

Mathews did not practice at all this week due to a balky ankle, and is listed as questionable on San Diego’s injury report for Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos. The management of Mathews’ injury by San Diego’s training staff has been different than in previous two weeks, when he was a limited participant on Friday before playing on Sunday.

The change in routine seems to indicate that Mathews’ ankle has gotten worse over the past few weeks. Mathews ran the ball just one time in the second half of his team’s 27-10 AFC wild card win against the Bengals last week, finishing with 52 yards on 13 carries.

Mathews said the extra day of rest should help get him ready, but he ultimately does not know if he will be cleared to face the Broncos.

“The more rest you get, the better everything gets,” he said. “It is only a week, so I’m just going to do what I can.” Mathews said he’s been out watching the tam portion of practice so he can get the mental reps on his San Diego’s game plan for Denver this week.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers says he expects Mathews to do his best to get onto the field this weekend.

“I’m not making predictions because I don’t know where stands, honestly right now,” Rivers said. “But he’s going to do all he can to play — to give himself the best chance to play four quarters. But you just never know how things are going to play out. But Danny (Woodhead) and Ronnie (Brown) are ready if they’re needed more than usual.”

The Chargers got some better news on center Nick Hardwick. He cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and practiced as a limited participant on Friday. Hardwick is listed as questionable for Sunday.

Hardwick is the only San Diego offensive lineman that has started every game this season. If Hardwick can’t play, Rich Ohrnberger would replace him in the starting lineup.

The Chargers are banged up along the offensive line. Right guard Jeromey Clary did not practice for a second straight day due to a shoulder issue, and is listed as questionable. If Clary can’t play, Johnnie Troutman would get the nod at right guard.

  • Covered Seahawks for Tacoma News Tribune for six seasons.
  • Played college football at University of Puget Sound

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