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Chargers' Mathews questionable after missing practice again

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, wearing a brace on his injured left ankle, limped into the locker room to cap a disappointing week in which he was unable to practice.

He planned to give it a go Friday, but couldn't do it and is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game at Denver.

Mathews ran for 52 yards in the wild card playoff win over Cincinnati but carried only once in the second half. He hoped the rest during the week would help, but was obviously far from healthy when he tried a limited workout Friday.

"The more rest you get, the better everything gets," he said. "It is only a week, so I'm just going to do what I can."

Quarterback Philip Rivers, who would appreciate a strong running game to help his offense as well as the Chargers' defense by running time off the clock, says Mathews has played tough all year, but if he isn't ready there are good alternatives.

"I'm not making predictions because I don't know where it stands honestly right now," Rivers said. "But he's going to do all he can to play, to give himself the best chance to play four quarters. You just never know how things are going to play out. But Danny (Woodhead) and Ronnie (Brown) are ready if they're needed more than usual."

The Chargers' offensive line also has concerns with center Nick Hardwick coming off a concussion and right guard Jeromey Clary nursing a bad shoulder.

Hardwick cleared the NFL's concussion protocol and was a limited participant in Friday's practice. If he is unable to play, Rich Ohrnberger will step in. It would be the first game that Hardwick missed this season. Clary did not practice on Friday for the second straight day and is listed as questionable. If he cannot play, Johnnie Troutman steps in.
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