While his teammates prepare for Thursday’s preseason finale in San Francisco, running back
When Mathews injured himself on his first carry against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 9th, the initial diagnosis was that he would be out four-to-six weeks. This put him on target to return within the first couple weeks of the regular season. If Mathews has anything to say about it, his return date will be on the short end of that timetable.
“I’m feeling good and like my old self,” he said Tuesday as the team finished their afternoon practice. “I’m pushing for that first game. I’m able to run and workout. I’m also pushing myself to get my legs under me.”
Head coach Norv Turner is encouraged by what he’s seen from his Pro Bowl running back as his rehab has evolved.
“Ryan is making progress,” Turner said. “He didn’t hurt his legs and he’s running well once they cleared him to run. There’s no question in my mind he can run. He’s been out here on the field doing drills and those types of things. So as soon as that thing heals, he’ll be ready to go.”
Should they be without Mathews for the season opener, Turner is confident his stable of runners can handle the extra work load for the time being.
“Every guy we have back there brings a different strength to the table,” he said shortly after the injury occurred. “
Still, Mathews is the lead horse, and heading into training camp a lot was expected out of the versatile 6-foot-0, 220-pound running back. According to Mathews, his injury has not changed his plans for a break out year at all as he is keen on delivering a standout season and then some, mainly as a thank you for his teammates who have supported him throughout this ordeal.
“The entire team has been real supportive, and my goals for the season haven’t changed at all,” he said. “This team has been by my side this whole time, so it’s only a matter of time until I get back out there and reward them for their support.”