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Can Ryan Mathews stay healthy enough to give running game threat if no legit #2 RB is acquired?
Let's be very honest here about Ryan Mathews. He's a dangerous RB and a huge threat for any team to go up against in the NFL. Mathews gave justice to AJ Smith last season for why he was worth moving up in the draft to acquire him in 2010. In the 2011 season, Mathews rushed for 1,091 yards (10th in the league in total rushing yards), averaging 4.9 yards per carry, added 50 receptions for 455 yards, averaging 9.1 yards per catch, which all came out to 1,546 all-purpose yards (seventh in the league in all-purpose yardage), and averaging 110.4 all-purpose yards per game.
That's impressive if you ask me. Not to mention that he did all that in 14 games. The problem I have is just that. Mathews could only stay healthy for up to 14 games and wasn't at all at full strength for majority of the games he did play in.
Mathews had Mike Tolbert to relieve him of duty for a break during games. The problem that Tolbert had was he too had health issues as he played for majority of the season but never at full capable strength.
The Chargers have limited options for a legit No. 2 RB. In the FA, as of right now, the Chargers only have Joseph Addai, Jackie Battle, Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson and Ryan Grant amongst other few names.
The problem I have is just like Tolbert, many of these FA RB's have injury issues too. There is always the positive side that things may work out and they stay healthy, but I'd feel better with a guaranteed healthy RB. Amongst those names, only Jackie Battle has a good shot at staying healthy with few years under his belt.
I do have faith in Curtis Brinkley playing a bigger role here, but I'd love for the Chargers to add more depth and health to the RB position.
Sure the Chargers added Le'Ron McClain, but from what I understand, his role will be more as a blocker. I believe the Chargers will utilize his running ability more so than they did with Jacob Hester as McClain is a proven NFL runner as a FB.
Let's all hope Mathews can stay healthy for an entire season while taking a minor breather here and there, once in awhile.