San Diego Chargers' Ryan Mathews Breaks Clavicle: Fantasy Implications

Jamal Collier@@JCollierDAnalyst IIIAugust 10, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium on December 18, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images reports that running back Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers has broken his clavicle on his first carry of the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers

He is expected to be out for four to six weeks, which means his unfortunate injury will most likely linger into the regular season. He could miss the first two or three games as a result.

Given how late it is in the offseason, Mathews should be able to meet expectations shortly after he makes his return.

But I thought the Chargers runner to be a No. 2 fantasy back before this injury.

It will be very difficult for Mathews to outperform that benchmark with the disadvantage of coming into the season fresh off an injury, perhaps missing the first couple of games as well.

Running backs who stand to gain more carries as a result of Mathews' injury are Curtis Brinkley, Ronnie Brown and Le'Ron McClain.

Of the three, the running back in whom I'm most interested is Ronnie Brown. However, it's likely that in Mathews' absence, San Diego's offense won't run through one back as exclusively as it was expected.

Instead, the passing game will have to open up more.

Antonio Gates is an even more intriguing option at tight end than he was at this time yesterday. 


Other fantasy player previews:

Steven Jackson

Percy Harvin

Julio Jones

Antonio Gates