The big injury news, and very nearly the only injury news, that the San Diego Chargers are dealing with in the wake of last night's preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers is Ryan Mathews' broken collarbone. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks, probably putting him back on the field for the Week 3 Falcons game at Qualcomm Stadium (just a guess).
The other injury news is that Darrell Stuckey had a stinger, but stingers are almost never something to worry about.
Let's get back to the Mathews injury, though, and I'll tell you why I don't care. Rather, I'll tell you why I'm actually excited about it.
One of the hardest things for a running back to do is stay healthy for all 16 games of the regular season. Even harder than that is then staying healthy, and effective, for multiple games in the playoffs after those 16 games. We saw this with LaDainian Tomlinson, who would break down every year somewhere around Game 17. This is one of the biggest reasons that teams moved to two-running back offenses with carries split between the two guys.
When it comes to have success as a running back, the result is only about 50% talent. 20% of it is the talent/play-calling of the rest of the offense, 10% of it is luck and the final 20% is fresh legs. This cannot be stressed enough, running backs are much, much better with fresh legs than without.
With Mike Tolbert out of the picture, I got a little nervous of the prospect of Ryan Mathews getting 400 touches over the course of the season and then being asked to produce in the playoffs as well. Now, those worries are quelled and we can rest easy knowing that during the season Mathews' legs will be fresher than most of the guys trying to catch and tackle him.
Now we just have to hope that David Chao and his staff can perform surgery successfully on Mathews' collarbone today and that the recovery process goes smoothly. Oh, boy.