Mathews injures ankle, expected to play

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters that running back Ryan Mathews suffered an ankle injury in the win over Oakland, but is expected to play on Sunday in the team's final game of the season against Kansas City.

Mathews wore a protective boot on his foot in the locker room after the game.

Mathews carried the ball 25 times for 99 yards, including a 7-yard score. Mathews has a career-high 1,111 yards this season, and is on track to play a full, 16-game season for the first time in his four-year NFL career.

Mathews has a career-high 261 carries this season. In the past three games, Mathews has carried the ball 83 times for 329 yards.

Mathews left the field and went to the locker room to have the injury worked on by the training staff, but returned to the game.

“We're not going to just put him back into the game to put him in the game,” McCoy said. “So we make those decisions as the game goes along. If the medical staff says he's fine to play, he's going to play, just like every other player on our team.

McCoy also announced that tight end John Phillips is being placed on the injured reserve after suffering a knee injury in the first half of the Oakland game on hard hit from Raiders linebacker Kevin Burnett while catching a short pass across the middle of the field.

“He's done a phenomenal job in his role on this football team,” McCoy said. “Whether it's special teams, or certain personnel groups on offense, he's done a great job for us.”

The Chargers signed tight end Jake Byrne to take Phillips' spot on the active roster.