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Mathews' injury keeps RB spot as Chargers priority

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By Kevin Fishbain

Chargers GM A.J. Smith added RBs Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown and FB Le’Ron McClain this past offseason for depth reasons. After all, his first-round running back, Ryan Mathews, had missed six games in his first two seasons.

Whether it's Smith or a new GM, expect the Chargers to be on the hunt for running backs once again in the offseason.

Mathews broke his right clavicle last Sunday and went on injured reserve. The injury came four months and one week after he broke his left clavicle in the preseason, forcing him to miss the first two games of the regular season.

The third-year back was touted in the preseason as the team’s workhorse and appeared to be primed for a career year. Instead, injuries remained an issue, he gained less than four yards per carry and scored only one touchdown. Mathews exceeded 20 carries in a game only three times and his season high in yards was 95 in Week Eight.

Brown and Battle signed one-year deals, and the Chargers also have youngsters Curtis Brinkley and Edwin Baker. The way we hear it, adding another back is expected to be a priority, potentially another all-around back like Mathews — that's because the idea of Mathews as a featured back has yet to pan out.

Some of the big-name veteran running backs that could be on the market include Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush (a San Diego native) and Rashard Mendenhall.

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