On his first carry of the preseason, he went down with a broken right clavicle and was forced to miss the remainder of the preseason as well as the first two games of the regular season.
Upon returning in Week 3 against the Falcons, he fumbled inside the five-yard line on what would have been the go-ahead score as Atlanta went on to defeat San Diego, 27-3.
It got better as he rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries to go along with six receptions for 59 yards in a 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.
Two weeks later, things continued to look upward, as he rushed for a season-high 95 yards on 24 carries against the Cleveland Browns.
But just as he was looking for a late-season charge, he suffered another broken clavicle, this time to his left side. He would miss the remaining two games of the season.
Despite the disappointing end to his season, Mathews sees this offseason as a way to heal and come back stronger next season.
“Just getting my body ready,” Ryan Mathews said. “Last year, I did the same thing. Just working out, just staying here, being able to work out with coach and just being around the facility and everything.”
“I live in San Diego. I might go home to Fresno or Bakersfield a couple times, but that’s just a three-hour drive. It ain’t much. Just get ready. (There’s) a lot of stuff I need to work on, stuff I need to get better, but I have what it takes to reach that next level and that’s what I plan to do.”
As far as his clavicles are concerned, Mathews said they are “pretty stable right now” and though he missed the last two games of the season, he feels good.
“I feel good physically,” Mathews said. “I really do. Like I said, I’ve been healthy for the most part this year. I haven’t had any setbacks or anything. It was just a bad year. That’s all you can say. You just have to look forward to next year, watch your film and do your homework, take the time for your body to rest and come back here just explosive. It’s time for me to show them why they bumped up to the spot they did to draft me. I’ve shown greatness at some times and I’ve shown I can be the worst player at some times. You just have to be consistent and that’s what I plan to do.”