Ryan Mathews Out: San Diego Chargers Should Turn to Curtis Brinkley

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIAugust 10, 2012

Ryan Mathews is one step from injury. He is proving to be this generation's
Ryan Mathews is one step from injury. He is proving to be this generation'sJake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

I was all set to complain about how your favorite coach, Norv Turner, is crazy for handing the ball to backup running back Ronnie Brown and fullback Le'Ron McClain early in the first quarter.

What I didn't know at the time is that Ryan Mathews wasted no time getting injured this season, as he broke he collarbone and is going under the knife today. Since he'll be out for four to six weeks, we can expect him back for the Chargers' second AFC West grudge match against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4.

After Mathews went out, the Chargers' running game resembled the same stumbling, bumbling "attack" they displayed when the overweight Mike Tolbert roamed the backfield.

Norv didn't call plays which effectively used the fullback, the young backs made the wrong cuts and Brown looked slow but solid. Only one guy looked like he had any skill and of course, it was Curtis Brinkley.

In his one opportunity to show what he could do in a real game, Brinkley displayed LaDainian Tomlinson-like skill while putting the Chargers in position to win a game against the Chiefs last season.

Brinkley came off the bench for an indisposed Mathews and Tolbert to rush 10 times for 43 yards and a touchdown with three catches for 24 yards. After his heroics put San Diego in position to kick a game winning field goal at the final gun, a mishap by the usually reliable Philip Rivers eventually led to a loss.

The Chargers' depth chart currently reads:

Ryan Mathews

Ronnie Brown

Jackie Battle

Other: Curtis Brinkley (with a bunch of no-name guys)

How does that even make sense? Ronnie Brown has made a play or two in his career, but Jackie Battle? Come on.

If you believe in astrology, Coach Turner is a Taurus. This means that once his mind is made up, he'll go down in flames with his choice. That disastrous depth chart has led me to believe that he doesn't think Brinkley is capable of starting for the team, regardless of what he's proved.

It doesn't matter how ineffective Brown and Battle prove to be, don't look for Brinkley to get a shot anytime soon. He may not even make the team.