Ryan Mathews doesn’t practice Friday, leaving status in doubt for Chargers

In recent weeks, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews has followed a routine of resting his injured ankle early in the week of practice, then giving it a go Friday before a Sunday game.

That routine has taken a little detour this week. Mathews did not practice Friday, even though head coach Mike McCoy believed that Mathews would be available to do so earlier in the week. Mathews is officially listed as questionable on the team's injury report.

This leaves Mathews' status very much up in the air for Sunday's divisional-round matchup with the Denver Broncos, and it's a huge concern if he can't go. Mathews was a pivotal figure in the Chargers' upset Thursday night victory in Week 15 in Denver, rushing for 127 yards and a game-changing 23-yard touchdown. The Chargers dominated the time of possession in that game and could struggle to do so again if Mathews if not ready Sunday.

It's not clear if McCoy would allow Mathews to play Sunday without having practiced at all this week.

Mathews was held to 13 carries in the Chargers' wild-card round win over the Cincinnati Bengals, rested late in the game (one second-half carry) of what would become a 27-10 victory.

In the good-news department, though, Chargers center Nick Hardwick, who also was knocked out of the Bengals game, completed league concussion protocol and should be available Sunday for action.

- - - - - - -

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next