On a night many backups played extensively, second-year running back Ryan Mathews showed his team some flashes of why the Chargers gave up a truckload to trade up for him in the 2010 draft.
Mathews had a beautiful 56-yard touchdown run and he finished with 78 yards on five carries in a 20-17 loss to San Francisco. He showed he is perhaps ready to take on a bigger role once the regular season starts next week against Minnesota.
Rookie running back Jordan Todman also was active as he had 46 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien showed his potential as he completed 16 of 23 passes for 226 yards. The Chargers like him as a developmental player.
The Chargers are worried about injuries to rookie linebacker Jonas Mouton and Andrew Gachkar. It could affect who the team keeps at linebacker. Veteran Stephen Cooper -- who is playing with a torn biceps -- made his case to make the roster with seven tackles.