At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Mathews was among the final roster cuts for the Houston Texans.
Mathews was a seventh-round selection by the Indianapolis Colts when Telesco worked in that team’s personnel department in 2010, and spent his first four seasons in the NFL in Indianapolis.
Although Telesco has some familiarity with Mathews, he said the team brought Mathews in because the athletic defensive lineman is a movement guy who can play all of the interior defensive line positions.
Mathews also has some scheme familiarity from playing for Chuck Pagano’s defensive in Indianapolis, the older brother of Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano. Mathews replaces running back Marion Grice on the 53-man roster. Grice was waived by San Diego on Monday.
Telesco said the Chargers made a tough decision in letting Grice go, but ultimately the team would like to bring him back on the practice squad. The Chargers have an open spot on the practice squad, should Grice clear waivers.