The Chargers took a big hit when running back Ryan Mathews went down with what was later found to be a broken collarbone during the Chargers’ 1st preseason game. Mathews was set to be the Chargers’ “everything back” in Norv Turner’s offense, in his 3rd year in the league after going 12th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. With a career 4.7 YPC and above average pass catching skills (50 catches in 2011), Mathews looked poised to have a breakout year and become a star in this league.
However, the one issue that has always been present with Mathews has been durability so many were skeptical about his ability to carry the load and be a 300+ carry back. I kept my estimations for him fairly conservative in my fantasy football projections, projecting him to get 280 carries. I will have to lower those expectations now that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
However, this injury is really more of a freak injury that anything and while he should miss a game or two, it’s not likely to be something that lingers and he’s not necessarily any more likely to get hurt again this season than he was before the injury. He’s still a 1st round pick value, though Mathews owners should target Ronnie Brown late in the draft as a handcuff as he figures to get the start in the absence of Mathews. Brown is pretty washed up, heading into his age 31 season, after averaging 3.2 YPC last season, but he’ll get you volume yardage.