Ryan Mathews (knock wood) proud of his new durability

AP

All of a sudden, the guy who has been best known as either a fumbler or “fra-gee-lay” has turned into a major award for the Chargers.

Running back Ryan Mathews has become the kind of durable back the Chargers were hoping for, and admits that changing that reputation is gratifying.

Mathews carried for 127 yards last week in a win over the Broncos, and he admitted that kind of extended action was gratifying.

“Those were tough yards,” Mathews told Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego. “We battled for those yards. It was fun. That’s what a running back wants. . . .

“It feels good to be able to keep going. The last few years I’ve done it here and there. To be able to do it each week, that is what feels good.”

Mathews has already set a career high with 236 attempts, having played all 14 games already. He’s carried it 29 times in each of the last two games (including a short-weeker), and has convinced teammates he’s regained the confidence that was shaken by injuries and turnovers.

“You just saw a confidence, and I just felt like he was ready to have his best year, and he has done that,” Rivers said. “It’s been impressive. The way he has been running, getting to the second level and always falling forward, it’s always fun to watch him do it.

Mathews’ ability to become an every down back (not needing a replacement in short yardage) has been one of the impressive things about San Diego’s turnaround.

As long as Ralphie’s mom doesn’t knock him over while watering the plant.