Ryan Mathews is making progress

The San Diego Chargers received good news Friday when starting running back Ryan Mathews practiced on a limited basis. It was his first work of the week in preparation for a key game at Denver on Sunday.

The team is encouraged that Mathews has a chance to play Sunday. He was dealing with a neck injury, but it improved Friday. I’d think if there is not a setback, he should be able to play.

However, left tackle Jared Gaither, once again, looks like he will be out. He is doubtful to play with a groin injury that kept him out last week. Gaither has missed five games this season. Thus, undrafted rookie Mike Harris is poised to play again Sunday and be in charge of stopping Denver linebacker Von Miller. Miller is second in the NFL with 10 sacks, and he has an NFL-high seven sacks since Week 5.

Denver coach John Fox said Miller’s pass-rush partner, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, will be a game-time decision Sunday. He is listed as questionable on the injury report. Dumervil practiced Friday for the first time this week, on a limited basis, after injuring his shoulder in Week 10.

“We just talk to the medical people. We want what’s in the player’s best interest as far as safety and his career moving forward,” Fox said of Dumervil on Friday. “If they deem him capable of playing, he’ll play. He’s obviously earned that, and he’s a guy that’s a valuable part of our defense.”

Cornerback Tracy Porter will miss his fourth straight game with an illness. Guard Chris Kuper is doubtful with an ankle injury he suffered in Week 9.