The Chargers signed Donald Brown as a free agent this offseason, giving them a good option at running back in the event that Ryan Mathews is unavailable for any stretches this season.
Brown and Danny Woodhead also give the team a pair of options to turn to if they feel Mathews’ play is not where they want it to be. That was sometimes an issue early in Mathews’ career because of fumbles and Thursday night’s preseason game provided a reminder of those days when Mathews coughed up the ball on his way into the end zone. Chargers coach Mike McCoy wasn’t thrilled with the turnover, but said he’s not turning to Brown or Woodhead the next time the Chargers are knocking on the door.
“No, he’s our bell cow,” McCoy said, via U-T San Diego. “I’m giving it to him again on the goal line. He’s jumped over the top a number of times and scored his entire career here. The safety put his head on the ball, and the ball came out, so that’s all part of the game. We can’t let it happen. It’s a critical error on our part in the red area. It should be a walk-in touchdown in my opinion, and we didn’t execute it right overall as an entire offense. It’s a good play on the defense. Give them credit where credit is deserved.”
Mathews fumbled 10 times in his first two seasons, but that number dropped to four over the last two seasons as Mathews’ touches have increased. Given that, it would be rash for the Chargers to make any changes because of an August fumble.