The Chargers' best running back and receiver should be running full speed on the same field Sunday against the Falcons. Ryan Mathews missed the first two games as he continued rehabbing his fractured clavicle. He participated in every practice this week and said he is "ready for anything." He is listed as questionable on the injury report, because the team wants to see he'll respond after a full week of practice, according to head coach Norv Turner. Tight end Antonio Gates was a late and surprising inactive last week. But it looks like fantasy owners will be able to start him now. He is listed as probable and said that his rib injury feels "night and day" compared to last Friday.
There was a lot of discussion during the FFToolbox podcasts this week about how hard it is to trust Gates, but it's pretty safe to place him in your lineup for the time being.
No one knows how many carries Mathews will get, and there has been speculation that he'll be spelled by Ronnie Brown during the game. I still think Mathews is a strong start. He could have played last week, but the team said he just was not able to get enough practice time under his belt. That just gave Mathews more time to attain full health. Considering how well Willis McGahee did Monday against this Atlanta defense, Mathews is a fine RB2 this week. He'll be an easy RB1 if he makes it though this game intact.
On a related not that has nothing to do with fantasy, can you believe that the Chargers fell 9,000 short of a sellout for this attractive game and will be blacked out? Since it's San Diego, sadly, I can. This from a fan base that will see its team just three times between this Sunday and Thanksgiving.