San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews didn't practice Tuesday because of an injury. But the cause is a little scarier than your standard hamstring strain or back spasms. Mathews was involved in a car crash with one other vehicle Monday night. According to California Highway Patrol Police Officer Mary Bailey, the accident occurred when Mathews lost control of his car and hit another. Bailey said high speed possibly played a factor, and neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be involved.
Mathews was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain but didn't stay for long. On Tuesday, Mathews was in attendance at Chargers practice and said he hurt his elbow "a little bit" in the crash. Head coach Norv Turner said Mathews is day-to-day.
Other than some lingering soreness, Mathews appears to have come away relatively unscathed and should consider himself lucky. Less seriously, the Chargers should consider themselves lucky that Mathews is OK. The dropoff in talent and ability is steep if Mathews can't play.
Unlike last year, there is a lot of praise being sent Mathews' way in training camp. Overlooking this episode, he seems primed for a big year if he can indeed stay on the field. He's a mid-first-round pick.