Chargers expect Ryan Mathews to play after ankle injury

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Chargers running back Ryan Mathews was the subject of a post in these parts last week that spotlighted his newfound durability after several injury-plagued campaigns.

Naturally, Mathews wound up hurting his ankle during Sunday’s victory over the Raiders. He was wearing a protective boot after the game, but was able to return to the game after getting hurt and coach Mike McCoy said that the team put him back in because the injury wasn’t severe enough to keep him out.

“We’re not going to just put him back into the game to put him in the game,” McCoy said, via “So we make those decisions as the game goes along. If the medical staff says he’s fine to play, he’s going to play, just like every other player on our team.”

Mathews is trying to play 16 games for the first time in his career and put the finishing touches on a strong season that’s helped the Chargers hold onto a shot at a playoff spot heading into the final week of the season. They’ve been riding him hard the last three weeks — 83 carries for 329 yards — and it looks like that will be an option again in the season finale.