Chargers running back Ryan Mathews remained in last Sunday’s game after a scary helmet-to-helmet collision that led to Buccaneers linebacker Quincy Black being carted off the field, but he wasn’t totally unscathed.
Mathews has now missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday thanks to a neck injury sustained in the collision, which led to Black being placed on injured reserve this week. Coach Norv Turner said Wednesday that Mathews’ neck was stiff, but hoped he’d be able to practice on Thursday. That didn’t work out, so the team will have to try again on Friday if they want Mathews to get work in before determining his status for Sunday.
Mathews has missed two games this year because of a broken collarbone suffered in the preseason. He’s gained 475 yards on 112 carries in seven games and has lost more playing time as a result of fumbles.
The Chargers also practiced without tackle Jared Gaither and defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin on Thursday. Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Franklin would be the first member of the Chargers starting defense to miss a game with injury if he’s unable to play this weekend.