Ryan Mathews has surgery, still expected to miss 4-6 weeks

AP

Chargers running back Ryan Mathews had surgery on his broken clavicle on Friday, one day after he suffered the injury in the preseason opener against the Packers.

Interest now turns to how the Chargers will replace him and how long they will have to worry about replacing him. Coach Norv Turner said that the team isn’t looking into signing any help for the tailbacks on the roster, which means that Ronnie Brown, Jackie Battle, Curtis Brinkley and company will carry the load until Mathews is ready to return. Turner also gave an idea of when that might be.

“I think it’s four to six weeks before he’s able to play,” Turner said, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Turner said Thursday that his hopes for Mathews this season haven’t changed, which indicates that the team will still view him as their backfield workhorse. If the backups filling in for Mathews over the next month-plus don’t prove to be up to the task of replacing him, they might need to rethink that. While Mathews’ injury history was always a concern, a broken clavicle is the kind of injury you can’t really prepare to avoid and something else like it could leave the Chargers shorter at running back than they’d like.