McCoy: Donald Brown ready for larger role

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers coach Mike McCoy confirmed running back Ryan Mathews suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee against the Seattle Seahawks and will be out for "a little bit of time."

Mathews is expected to be out four-to-five weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain (partial tear).

“He’ll be back out there as soon as he can,” McCoy said. “So, it’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the game. Knowing the way he works, and the way he’ll rehab, he’ll be back out there as soon as he’s ready.”

McCoy said running back Donald Brown will take on an expanded role in the offense with Mathews out. The Chargers signed Brown to a three-year, $10.4 million contract during the offseason as insurance in case Mathews was out for an extended period of time.

Brown finished with 537 yards and six touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts in 2013, averaging 5.3 yards a carry. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich is confident in Brown’s ability to make plays, and he knows Brown understands the offense. But in two games with the Chargers, Brown has 19 yards on nine carries, averaging 2.1 yards per rush.

“Donald’s played a ton of football,” McCoy said. “The number of snaps he got in Indy, in a very similar system when he was with Peyton [Manning], so coming here we knew exactly what he could do. So he played a lot of football, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”

McCoy also said that rookie Branden Oliver also will take on a larger role in the offense with Mathews out.