Ryan Mathews Injury: Eagles RB Ruled Out for Season with Herniated Disk

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20:  Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews will miss the rest of the season after suffering a herniated disk in Thursday night's victory over the New York Giants.

The Eagles confirmed the rusher's absence from the New Year's Day season finale against the Dallas Cowboys on their official Twitter feed based on comments from head coach Doug Pederson.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Pederson said Mathews is expected to need surgery as part of his recovery. The coach also called the issue a "pretty major deal," per McLane.

This is another setback for Mathews, who suffered an MCL injury earlier in the season.

Durability has been a concern throughout his career, and he played just six games for the San Diego Chargers in 2014. He has played a full 16-game schedule just once (2013) since entering the league in 2010.

Mathews has shown flashes of impressive talent throughout his career and tallied 1,091 rushing yards in 2011 and 1,255 in 2013. He notched 539 yards on the ground last year in his first season with the Eagles, and his 5.1 yards per carry marked a career high.

He finishes the 2016 campaign with 661 yards and eight touchdowns on 155 carries.

Looking ahead, Darren Sproles is shifty in the open field and a two-way threat as a pass-catcher and runner, and he will likely see a lot more playing time after Mathews' injury. He's the top RB on the depth chart after a series of backfield injuries to Mathews, Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner.

Byron Marshall, who has just nine carries so far during his rookie campaign, could also see his first extended action of the season in Week 17.

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