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Mathews Returns in Loss to Falcons

Posted Sep 23, 2012


The good news to come out of a predominately bad day for the Chargers was the return of Ryan Mathews, who made his season debut in the Bolts 27-3 loss to the Falcons.  The dynamic running back had 10 carries for 44 yards, averaging 4.4 yards an attempt.  He also caught a team-high five balls out of the backfield for an additional 32 yards.

Photo Gallery: Falcons vs. Chargers | More Photos

“It felt good getting back in the game and being able to help the team,” said Mathews. “The game is fast and it took a little bit of getting used to.  I kind of wish that I would have played in some more preseason games, but it’s over and done with.”

Unfortunately, while Mathews looked in fine form for the most part, he also committed one of the biggest mistakes of the game when he fumbled the ball at the Falcons’ three yard line with the Chargers down just 6-0.

“I was pushing for more yards and when I was going down to get a little extra the ball came out in front of me,” he said. “Stuff like that happens and I just have to learn to go down instead of trying to get the extra yard.”

Nonetheless, Mathews’ teammates were glad to have him back in the fold.

“It’s great to have Ryan back,” said Nick Hardwick.  “We’re excited to have him in the lineup and what he can do for us.  He showed a bit of that today.”

The man who paves the way for Mathews was also ecstatic to have him back in the lineup and was impressed by what he saw.

“It was awesome to see him out there,” said Le’Ron McClain.  “He hits those creases and he’s off. He makes plays.  He had the big fumble on that one drive but he shook it off and got back in the game.  Having him back in there showed the explosiveness we can have on offense though.  It showed the skies the limit for us.  We’ve just got to gel together and then we’ll be alright.”

As for his clavicle, Mathews says he feels fine and came out of the game completely healthy.

“My shoulder feels fine,” he said. “My main thing is just getting out there and trying to get some contact on it.  It felt good.  I got some good hits in and I stepped into the pocket and did some blocking.”

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