Ryan Mathews nagging ankle injury limited him to 13 carries in the Wildcard win in Cincinnati Sunday, and was seen after the game wearing a walking boot. The Chargers, however, didn't stop running the ball without Mathews, they totaled 40 carries for 196 yards with the help of Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead .
The Charges may be one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, but they have their work cut out for them in the Divisional round in Denver this week, particularly if Mathews can't play. Not including Sunday in Cincinnati, Mathews has averaged nearly 27 carries since week 14. The Chargers have relied on a strong ground game and a stout defense to get them this far, and will need to play ball control against the highest scoring offense in the history of the NFL to have a chance.
Mathews has played in all 16 regular season games this season for the first time in his career. He sounds optimistic on his chances of playing in Denver, when asked, Mathews told reporters Sunday, "My mindset is I'm playing."
Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead will continue to carry the load if Mathews is out this weekend.