Chargers have Mathews contingency plan

As expected, replacing running back Ryan Mathews while he heals from a broken clavicle will be a group effort.

According to U-T San Diego, the Chargers will use Ronnie Brown, Le'Ron McClain and Curtis Brinkley while Mathews is out. I think this trio can get the job done on a temporary basis. I’m actually a big fan of Brinkley -- every time I’ve seen him, he makes plays. A couple of weeks ago, the consensus at Chargers camp was that Brinkley could be a victim of a numbers crunch, but now he is in the mix.

Meanwhile, Mathews is hopeful to return for the season opener Sept. 10 at Oakland on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” He was injured Thursday against Green Bay. Even though his recovery timetable could keep him out until Week 3, Mathews is confident the Chargers will not need to rely on the above-mentioned trio during the regular season to carry the load. Still, it is a smart move by San Diego to have a contingency plan.

In other AFC West news:

In a radio interview, Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour said he believes the team will be better against the run.

Former Raiders head coach and current ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden talks about going back to the Black Hole for his first game as an announcer. Gruden will call tonight’s ESPN broadcast of the preseason game between the Raiders and the Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. Gruden was wildly popular as Oakland's head coach from 1998-2001.

Denver coach John Fox said newly signed safety Jim Leonhard is “probably somewhere between week-to-week and day-to-day.”

Check out this fascinating look at Kansas City running back Peyton Hillis on ESPN.com.