In his very first carry Ryan Mathews suffered a broken clavicle and will reportedly be out for 4-6 weeks. This means he may miss the first week of the season and any setback would could lead to more missed time, although that seems unlikely. Ronnie Brown is the top back up on the depth charts at this point follow by Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley. Mathews is at risk now of being labeled as injury-prone.
ProFootballTalk.com makes an interesting observation that the Chargers may pursue signing Cedric Benson.
Rotoprofessor.com says that Mathews is still a first round talent but that this makes him a second round pick, partially because of the possibility that the Chargers will try to manage Mathews’ workload because of his tendency to get dinged.
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On one hand this is an opportunity, like the guys at RotoProfessor said, you can get a first round back in the second round, but for teams drafting late in the first the mounting injuries and issues at RB are becoming a problem. Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews, Marshawn Lynch, and Adrian Peterson are now all guys that you can’t count on being taken ahead of you. A week ago you might have thought you would have your choice between Matt Forte and Darren McFadden, now you can’t be so sure.
If you are drafting late in the first in a serpentine format you certainly can’t count on any of these guys making it back to you in the 3rd or 4th round either. These injuries seem to play to to advantage of guys drafting early who will land a back like Lesean McCoy or Ray Rice and have a shot Mathews, Lynch, Peterson or Richardson at the end of the second. With a stud RB already rostered you can can afford to take another stud back who may either miss games or ramp up slower through the early contests.
Mathews is still a guy that we would invest a pick in after the top 10. We caution you to jump at Ronnie Brown though. We see a lot of recommendations to do that but in our opinion there is absolutely no guarantee that the washed up veteran is going to hold onto the top spot in Mathews absence. We will watch that situation closely.