Expert: Mathews' timetable may be 6 weeks

The San Diego Chargers said Thursday night that the timetable for Ryan Mathews' return from a broken clavicle is 4-6 weeks.

Ryan Mathews

Ryan Mathews

#24 RB
San Diego Chargers

2011 STATS

  • Rush222
  • Yds1091
  • TD6
  • Rec50
  • Yds455
  • TD0

However, ESPN’s medical expert Stephania Bell thinks Mathews may be out closer to six weeks than four weeks.

Mathews, who has an injury history, was injured after one carry in the Chargers’ preseason win over the Packers on Thursday night. He has been expected to be a workhorse for the Chargers this season. They open the regular season at Oakland on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in 31 days. However, Bell is thinking Mathews may not make his season debut until Week 3.

“Clavicles can be slower to heal; he's not been the best healer in the past; if not well healed could be at risk for re-injury, especially from being driven into the ground on that shoulder or crunch contact (like getting hit from both sides simultaneously as often happens with RBs),” Bell wrote in an email, explaining her thoughts on Mathews’ timetable. “I'm not convinced he's ready by Week 1. The goal is to have him for the bulk of the season so if there is any question as to his readiness, the likely thing would be to err on the side of caution. Not impossible, just not likely based on what we know.”

There will be plenty of updates on Mathews’ recovery in the coming weeks, but Bell’s thoughts should prepare San Diego for the idea of starting the season without its top running back.