Jun 012012

According to the Union-Tribune San Diego, the Chargers have “no immediate plans” to add another running back. The Chargers lost backup Mike Tolbert in free agency this offseason and did not add another veteran back to replace him. Right now they just have Curtis Brinkley and his 32 career carries, 7th round rookie Edwin Baker, and fullback Le’Ron McClain behind lead back Ryan Mathews.

Norv Turner has talked Ryan Mathews up as a feature back extensively this offseason. Turner’s offenses typically feature 300 carry type feature backs and in his 3rd year after going 12th overall in 2010, it appears Mathews has Turner’s trust to be that type of back. Mathews has a career 4.7 YPC and Chargers’ running backs caught 104 passes and scored 16 times last year on a down year for the San Diego offense so there’s definite fantasy upside with Mathews, who Turner thinks can lead the league in rushing.

The report did leave the door open for the Chargers to add another running back closer to Training Camp by saying they have no “immediate plans,”  but any running back they sign will likely be a pure backup to Mathews. Any running back signing would be a vote of no confidence on Brinkley, Baker, and McClain as pure backups rather than a vote of no confidence on Mathews as a feature back, who seems to have all the confidence of the coaching staff. Mathews is currently my #3 fantasy back behind Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy.

  3 Responses to “Chargers have “no immediate plans” to add another running back”

  1. They are obviously betting that Matthews can stay healthy the whole season. But going with only four backs on the roster really only makes sense if they are planning to be a very heavily pass-based offense. Therefore even a healthy Matthews would not have to carry that heavy a workload, maybe 15 rushing attempts or so per game. If they do see fit to pick up another back I would lobby for them to bring back Tomlinson for a final season. Of course that would require AJ Smith to break form in a big way. But there is no better former Charger to make an exception for, and it would actually be good PR for Smith, with Charger fans like me.

    • The Chargers only carried 4 backs last year and they still ran 436 times. If Mathews is healthy all season, he’ll get 300+ carries.

  2. I feel like I should have done a little more research before posting. The foxsports depth chart shows the Chargers with four running backs AND three fullbacks going into training camp. Behind Mathews they list C. Brinkley, E. Baker and M. Hayes. At fullback they list McClain, Jacob Hester and M. Marah. I don’t know if that is currently accurate, but that would be seven backs, not four, which is plenty. However, my real motive is to lobby for LT to return for a final year, and I think he is still better than any of the guys currently listed to back up Mathews.

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