Ryan Mathews not seriously hurt

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
5:50
PM ET
San Diego coach Norv Turner told reporters Monday he expects the banged-up Chargers to be near full-strength when they return from their bye Oct. 23 at the New York Jets.

That means promising second-year running back Ryan Mathews is not seriously injured. He had to leave Sunday’s win over Denver with a calf injury. He was on crutches and his foot was in a protective boot when he left the stadium.

The bye is coming at a good time for Mathews. Fellow running back Mike Tolbert was also banged up in the game. The Chargers are also hopeful star tight end Antonio Gates will be able to play at New York. He has missed the past three games with a nagging foot injury.

Meanwhile, the Football Outsiders looks at the special season Mathews is quietly putting together in an Insider piece.

In other AFC West news Monday:

There were reports that Denver rookie Von Miler was benched in base-defense situations Sunday. However, Denver coach John Fox went out of his way Monday to clarify Miller’s status without being asked.

“Some things were made of Von Miller, and Von is an outstanding player,” Fox said. “He had a good game yesterday. We played a lot of snaps, so we played a lot of people to keep them fresh because there were some points in that game where it seemed like the defense was out there forever. You do play a lot of different players.”

Miller has five sacks in five games. Overall, the Broncos are pleased with his overall progression, but there’s no secret that the No. 2 overall pick of the draft is currently most comfortable as a pass-rusher, which is precisely the reason why Denver took him.

Receiver Dwayne Bowe is giving the Chiefs some much-needed splash.

The Rams signed receiver/returner Nick Miller. He was recently cut by the Raiders.

UPDATE: The Broncos put defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson on the injured reserve. He injured his ankle Sunday. Vickerson started four games this season. To take his place, the Broncos claimed fullback Quinn Johnson off waivers from Tennessee. He started one game for the Titans this year and he started four games for Green Bay last season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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