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7-on-7: Mike Tolbert likely to start for Chargers, Mathews sits

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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It's semi-official: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews(notes) is "almost certain to be inactive" at Seattle on Sunday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Details here…

Mathews ran on a treadmill Thursday and still held out hope, but indications are that Mike Tolbert(notes), who replaced Mathews against the Jaguars and ran 16 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, will start in Mathews’ place.

Mathews suffered a high ankle sprain in the victory over Jacksonville in Week 2. Despite the rookie's well-documented desire to return to action, it appears the Chargers will shelve him this Sunday, in a game they should be able to win without his services. Tolbert immediately becomes a viable fantasy option in standard formats, and he'll continue to have at least modest value when Mathews returns. The 243-pound Tolbert has clearly claimed a role in goal-to-go situations. At the moment, he's owned in only 51 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

(Special note: We don't typically engage in caption-this-photo contests here at Roto Arcade, but the image of Tolbert over there on the right may change our unwritten policy. If you feel compelled to suggest a caption in comments, we won't stop you. Best entry wins the Brandon Funston action figure. Go!)

Beanie Wells(notes) (knee) is likely to make his 2010 debut this week against the Raiders, but don't expect him to be anything more than a committee member. This from Darren Urban:

“We will get a feel for it as it goes,” Whisenhunt said. “If he gets a hot hand, like he has shown before, we will give some work. But he’s not in football shape, so to think he’ll get 25 or 30 carries, that’s not going to happen. He’ll get enough, and if it’s the right situation, we will see where he is.”

Whisenhunt still has left the door open pretty wide. Beanie didn’t get even 20 carries in a game all last season, so he’s probably not going to approach 30 anytime soon, not with Tim Hightower(notes) in the backfield and the Cards committed to using multiple backs.

Minnesota's Percy Harvin(notes) (hip, brain) claims that he's "feeling great." Harvin returned to practice on Thursday, just one day after dealing with another migraine. His match-up with Detroit is terrific, no doubt, so this could be the week he finally helps you. Or he could again limp off toward the sideline after the opening series, never to be heard from again. I'm not enjoying his schizophrenic season at all, no sir, not one little bit.

Michael Bush(notes) (thumb) is expected to be among the actives for the Raiders in Week 3, finally. This from the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Bush did everything (Wednesday)," Cable said. "For the first time, everything from individual to catching to blocking to running, the whole deal. I think he feels really good and we feel really good about where he's at."

However, Bush returns to a team that features the NFL's second-leading rusher, Darren McFadden(notes). If you aren't expecting more than a cameo from Bush, then you won't be disappointed.

The Indianapolis Colts never really say anything meaningful or specific about an injury, at least not beyond what the NFL requires, so we don't know much about the state of Joseph Addai's(notes) knee. He did not practice on Wednesday, but was a limited participant on Thursday. That seems like good news. Pierre Garcon(notes), unfortunately, is trending in the other direction. After being limited on Wednesday with a hamstring injury, he did not participate in Thursday's practice.

Cedric Benson(notes) doesn't sound entirely happy about his workload thus far, even though he carried 23 times against the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, in a brutal match-up. The Bengals won with defense and a power run game last year, and Benson obviously liked that formula:

"I don’t know what would be the reason the team would want to change their identity, unless in the past season it didn’t work. But that’s not the case here."

Benson gets the Carolina Panthers in Week 3, a team that yielded 124.8 rushing yards per game last season. It's a nice setup, even if he's not in line for 30-35 carries.

Here's a final link, gamers, before you comment: David Flemming sums up the Bills quarterback situation in one long, delightful sentence. Good stuff. Enjoy responsibly.

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