SAN DIEGO (AP) — Running back Ryan Mathews is targeting the Chargers’ Sept. 10 season opener against the Oakland Raiders for his return from a broken collarbone suffered in San Diego’s first preseason game.
“I think I heal pretty fast, so I think I’ll be good in time to play against the Raiders,” Mathews said.
Mathews was injured on his first carry of the preseason in the first quarter of the Chargers’ game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. He had surgery on Friday and the Chargers said he would miss four to six weeks.
Coach Norv Turner said it’ll take a “fortunate” recovery for Mathews to play in four weeks.
Mathews led the Chargers (No. 16 in the AP Pro32) with 1,091 yards rushing and a 4.9-yard average last season, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Entering training camp last month, Turner said Mathews was in the best shape of his career and should be able to put up bigger numbers this season.
“You work hard and then something like that happens,” Mathews said, “but I figure that I’m getting them all out of the way now, and then I’ll have the whole season, a long season, to look forward to.”
Mathews said he considered the injury a freak mishap. He said he “landed wrong” and then Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk landed on him.
“It’s just something that happens,” Mathews said. “You’ve just got to walk away from it, kind of laugh at it and get better.”