San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews may be out longer than he and the Chargers are letting on.
Mathews broke his collarbone on his first carry in the Chargers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
While Mathews says he intends to be ready for the Chargers season opener on Sept. 9, one medical professional has a different opinion.
Dr. Neil Ghodadra, a former doctor for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, told NFL.com’s Jason Smith that he doesn’t expect the 25-year-old running back to return to the gridiron until sometime in October.
“It takes six weeks for the bone to heal,” Ghodadra told Smith. “Even after you fix it with the clavicle plate and screws, the bone still has to heal, so you are looking at six weeks for that at minimum. Studies have shown 8.8 weeks is how long it takes for NFL players to get back from clavicle fractures.”
This is bad news for fantasy football owners as well as the Chargers, as Mathews, if healthy, is projected as a first round pick by many fantasy experts.
Mathews earned himself a trip to the Pro Bowl last season, running for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns for the Chargers in 2011.
Behind Mathews on San Diego’s depth chart are new signings Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle, as well as fullbacks Le’Ron McClain and Jacob Hester, both of who have experience running the ball.