Ever since the San Diego Chargers benched Ryan Mathews in favor of Jackie Battle, the prevailing wisdom was that this was strictly a punitive measure and it wouldn’t be long before Mathews was back at his old gig. It looks like the prevailing wisdom might have to practice some patience.
The Chargers just released their depth chart for Week 5’s matchup with the New Orleans Saints and it’s Battle, not Mathews, sitting atop the depth chart. It doesn’t mean that Mathews won’t see a significant number of carries, but it could mean that he won’t start and will certainly have to split his touches. But before you hit the panic button, Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken tweeted this advice.
Wouldn’t read into it. Chargers confident in Mathews. Likely only matter of time before he’s the guy ahead of Battle, who’ll stay involved.
— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) October 3, 2012
Still, it’s a disappointment considering Sunday’s game comes against a defense that has been kinder to fantasy backs than any other in the league. Look for Mathews to still produce quality numbers, but they might not be as big as initially hoped for. It will also be interesting to see if Norv Turner trusts Mathews enough to give him snaps near the goal line. For a back whose fantasy value is in flux, that could make all the difference.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG