Much is going on in just the first week of training camp in San Diego. The Chargers will face the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 9th to kick off the NFL Preseason. Until then, all we can talk about is the news reporting from camp.
The stud running back got off to a better start at this year's training camp by passing his conditioning test; The very same task he didn't accomplish the first time last season. If there is any player in San Diego that has enormous hype and pressure around him, it's Ryan Mathews. Almost every site and expert is predicting him to breakout this year. After showing off his new blonde mohawk look at camp, Mathews dazzled everyone in attendance.
Everything was going well until Monday night.
Mathews said he watched movie at home. Rushed to get back to team hotel. Car drifted. Overcompensated; a car hit him. "It's a freak thing."
— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) August 1, 2012
Ryan Mathews is listed as day-to-day after suffering minor injuries from a car accident on July 30th. It's a route he takes every day to get to work. He says it was a "freak thing" that occurred. Mathews has a history of getting injured, but not like this. When asked about how he was feeling on Tuesday's practice, Mathews had this to say: "I felt like I played about four games when I woke up this morning." While the reports are saying that he has minor injuries, it sounds more like he is just pretty sore.
Mathews said he banged up his elbow "a little bit" in crash. On when he'll return to field: "We're just taking it day by day."
— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) August 1, 2012
It didn't take long for Ryan Mathews to get back to work. Michael Gehlken is reporting that he practiced Wednesday night.
Running Back Depth Chart
Besides Ryan Mathews, not one running back at Chargers park is safe. San Diego recently brought in former Chief, Jackie Battle, to, no pun intended, battle against Ronnie Brown, Curtis Brinkley, Michael Hayes and Edwin Baker for the last two running back spots.
After having a few exciting games last season, Curtis Brinkley hasn't been talked about very much. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune, he believes that all the backs on the roster will be Mathews, McClain, Brown, Battle and Hester. He also says that Michael Hayes has a chance to make the roster.
Some are saying that Battle and Brown are fighting for Mike Tolbert's former spot, while Curtis Brinkley could be brought back for a similar role he played last season.
My Thoughts: The Chargers should have four running backs as long as one excels on special teams. If they choose to only have three, they should stick with Mathews, Battle and Brown. It wouldn't bother me if they chose Brinkley over Brown, but Battle must make the team. He was their first option at the beginning of free agency to fill Tolbert's void but he decided to test the market. Now he's in sunny San Diego, and we shouldn't let him leave.
Which Three Running Backs Should Make the Team?
It's part of the game folks. Throughout the entire year, many players will be listed as "day-to-day," which shouldn't cause that much concern, but there are some players to whom even the smallest of injuries will open peoples' eyes and put them on the edge.
Larry English: It didn't take long for English to go down this year. On the first day of practice he exited early with a hamstring issue and hasn't practiced since. English is one of the players whose injury, however minor, shouldn't be taken lightly.
Jared Gaither: Another player with an injury history left the first practice early with full body cramps. He has yet to return to practice and the reports are now saying that it's muscle spasms keeping him sidelined.
Atari Bigby: Safety Atari Bigby has not returned to practice after suffering an undisclosed strain. Rookie Brandon Taylor is getting first team reps as of now.
Eddie Royal: The speedy receiver also has an undisclosed strain which has held him out from practices this week. With Meachem, Floyd and Royal all having injury-filled pasts, Vincent Brown has a chance for greatness this season.
Marcus Gilchrist: Young cornerback Marcus Gilchrist suffered an injury that has not been revealed, allowing Shareece Wright to get some first team reps at nickelback.
Robert Meachem: First year Charger, Robert Meachem, left practice early Wednesday night with a knee injury. Earlier this offseason, Meachem had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
After Charlie Whitehurst left the first day of practice with an injury, the Chargers started searching for an immediate backup. Billy Volek has yet to be signed by a team, but he is on many teams' emergency lists. Kyle Boller was the guy San Diego went out and signed. On the very same day he signed, Boller participated in his first practice wearing number eight.
Then the next day came, and Boller was nowhere to be found.
After only one day of being a Charger, Kyle Boller announced his retirement and left San Diego back on the market looking for another replacement.
Kevin O'Connell, the former San Diego State Quarterback, signed with the Chargers Monday and began practicing Tuesday. Oddly enough, O'Connell chose to wear the number eight.
After sharing first team reps with Rex Hadnot, speculation was spreading that they were battling for the starting left guard position. With no Kris Dielman, there is no automatic starter. That was thought by everybody until Norv Turner officially announced that Tyronne Green will be the starting left guard.
Ronnie Brown brought some flair from his old days in Miami.
Tight End Antonio Gates is looking like his old self with one handed catches already at camp. Kevin Acee says he looks like he's in early 2010 shape. This is great news for the Chargers.
Gates at 75% is still one of the best tight ends in the league. Imagine him back at 100%. Let's just say it wouldn't be surprising to take him over Gronkowski and Graham in fantasy football.
Which Bolt will be the team's breakout star in 2012? Voice your opinion here.
Alex Ramirez is a Featured Columnist for the San Diego Chargers on Bleacher Report. His latest article before this one was "One Advantage the San Diego Chargers Have Over Each Division Foe in 2012."