Ryan Mathews Is Who We Thought He Was

Ryan Mathews 560x326I got a big ol’ chuckle perusing some recent mock fantasy football drafts involving the, ahem, experts. Why was I so giddy? Well, every one of them had San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews going in the Top 10. The same experts who touted Mathews as a can’t-miss first rounder as a rookie in 2010, ya know, when he missed four games and mustered a paltry 678 yards on the ground. The same experts who gushed over his average 2011 season in which he missed another two games and looked legit for three weeks in December. Guess what happened to Ryan on his first carry of the preseason last night?

He broke his clavicle. Of course he did. He’ll miss at least 4 to 6 weeks. Of course he will. Because that’s Ryan Mathews.

Allow me to quote myself from my Training Camp Stories That Matter article from last month:

… Ryan Mathews has to stop imitating Darren McFadden or the Bolts are fried. The talent and vision and speed are all there. Sadly, so are the injuries, fumbles and head-scratching disappearing acts. A questionable corps of wide receivers and an aging Antonio Gates won’t do Philip Rivers any favors, so Mathews needs to trade in the baby teeth for tusks, pronto.

Adding insult to injury for San Diego is the fact that Mike Tolbert is now a Carolina Panther. He loved playing for the dimwitted duo of Norv Turner and A.J. Smith so much that he left $1 million on the table to join the Cats. That speaks volumes, don’t you think?

The Bolts did add Jackie Battle to fill Tolbert’s role, but up until a season ago all he did was carry the ball 41 times in four years. No worries, they also signed Le’Ron McClain, who hasn’t done jack squat since 2008. Take it easy, they have Ronnie “Wildcat” Brown poised to sweep in and save the day. The same Ronnie Brown who the Eagles attempted to trade midway through the 2011 season because he sucked.

No reason to panic, though. I’m sure everything will be copacetic. After all, Mathews is expected to be back sometime in September. Then he can start living up to all that preseason hype and go on to lead the league in rushing. Until he gets hurt again.