San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews went through his most extensive workout since spraining his ankle during the first quarter of the team's game in week two. The good news for the Chargers and Mathews' fantasy owners is that he came out no worse for wear. "They let me get after it today," Mathews told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday. "[The injured ankle] didn't hurt. I felt like my normal self." Mathews, who was inactive for week three's game at Seattle, was initially thought to have a high ankle sprain, a claim that he later denied. Head coach Norv Turner said he was "hopeful" his rookie runner will practice sometime later in the week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. The Chargers will host the Arizona Cardinals in week four.
Mike Tolbert was unable to capitalize on his starting opportunity last week. He ran for 73 yards on 17 carries with a fumble lost against the Seahawks. That came a week after his 16-carry, 82-yard, multi-touchdown effort in relief of Mathews. Darren Sproles chipped in with just one run and one reception -- also with a fumble lost -- with Mathews on the mend. The Chargers' running game has a favorable matchup this week against a Cardinals defense that was punished by Michael Turner and Jason Snelling, then gave up 105 rushing yards to Darren McFadden. Who will get the chance to keep that trend alive remains unknown but the early-week news sounds fairly optimistic for Mathews.