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Mathews Back at Practice and Feeling Good
One upside Friday afternoon at Chargers Park was Ryan Mathews’ return to practice after missing the previous two days with a stiff neck. He was listed as limited and is questionable to play Sunday according to the team’s injury report. Still, having him back on Friday was a step in the right direction.
After practice, Mathews said that his neck feels light years better than it did earlier in the week.
“It felt good,” he said. “It’s loosened up and I felt great today. I did drills and some plays and I felt real good.”
The running back sustained the injury on a vicious collision with the Buccaneers Quincy Black that ended the linebacker’s season with a serious neck injury. Mathews didn’t feel the immediate effects of the injury until after the game ended.
“It just got real tight on the plane and real sore,” he said. “That was a big hit we both took. It was real, real sore at the time so they just gave me a couple days off for it to settle down and relax a little bit…I never really (stayed away from practice) though. I’ve been going out to practice after treatment and watching it and just doing what I can to be mentally in it. I don’t think I was out for that much time for me to really get out of sync with the team. I felt good out there and I look forward to Sunday.”
So far this season, Mathews has carried the ball 112 times for 475 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Historically, the third-year pro has had his strongest performances against the Broncos. Last season, he ran for a combined 262 yards and one touchdown against them.
When asked why he seems to play well against Denver, Mathews downplayed his past success against them.
“It’s nothing special, and I couldn’t really tell you why (I’ve done well against them),” he said. “I think I’ve done well against other teams too. So I couldn’t really tell you most of my big games are against Denver.”
Regardless of whom the opponent is, head coach Norv Turner was excited to have Mathews back and was pleased with what he saw out of him.
“I was encouraged watching him run around,” he said. “He feels a lot better and he moved a lot better. He went through parts of the entire practice. I’m encouraged because he’s a lot better today and he’s got two more days and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”