And it so it begins: The first notable injury of the preseason comes in the Chargers' opener as running back Ryan Mathews suffered a broken clavicle and will miss 4-6 weeks, U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken tweeted out on Thursday.
It took just one carry to turn the likely top-5 pick into a fantasy pumpkin. OK, maybe not a pumpkin, but Mathews is out of the first round if the current time frame remains. Even a four-week return likely takes him out of Week 1 and seeing as Mathews has never proven to be the most durable back in the game, we have to assume the Chargers will limit his workload for a bit. If he's out six weeks, three regular-season games are in jeopardy. Factor in a Week 7 bye, and Mathews could miss four of the first seven fantasy weeks if the worst is revealed.
While hardly a shocker, the injury is a major bummer because not only does the fantasy world have a diminished Mathews (at least in the short-term), we now have to rely on Ronnie Brown. Expect the veteran RB to pick up the extra workload, though he's done little in recent years to suggest he's much more than a flex or bye-week option. Where's Mike Tolbert when you need him? Carolina, exactly.