There's little question that Ryan Mathews is the Chargers' best running back. But Jackie Battle is listed atop the team's official depth chart and got the start in Week 4. Who is going to get the start in Week 5? head coach Norv Turner is keeping his mouth shut on that one.
"The starter, we'll find out on the first play of the game," Turner said Friday.
Turner also said "It's not a big deal" who gets the start.
And Turner is right about that. It's not a big deal, really. If Battle starts, but Mathews gets the large majority of the work, all of his fantasy owners will be OK by the end of the day. The problem here is it still seems like Turner feels comfortable splitting carries between the two throughout the game. Battle had 19 touches against the Chiefs last week; Mathews had 16, and both looked good I have to believe talent will win out and Mathews will start earning a lot more work -- as long as he hangs onto the ball. But right now, I have to acknowledge that Battle will still be involved in no small way. And that makes me cringe.
For this week, the Chargers get the tastiest matchup for any RB. The Saints have allowed more than 700 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns to running backs this year. I think Mathews is a must-start, but Battle is probably a decent flex at least. The Saints' defense is that bad. However, if Battle becomes an afterthought, and Mathews get 25+ touches, I'll be OK with that since this situation begs for clarity.