Friday, January 3, 2014
Mathews practices, probable vs. Bengals
By Eric D. Williams
SAN DIEGO -- As expected, workhorse running back Ryan Mathews returned to practice Friday for the San Diego Chargers.
Just like last week, Mathews missed practice with an ankle issue the first two days of the work week but was a limited participant Friday. Mathews is probable for Sunday's AFC wild-card game at Cincinnati.
Receiver Eddie Royal was the only player who did not practice for San Diego. Royal is questionable for Sunday's game with lingering toe issue, but likely will play. Defensive lineman Sean Lissemore was a limited participant due to a shoulder injury, and also is questionable for the Cincinnati game.
Defensive end Kendall Reyes was a full participant with an ankle issue. Reyes is listed as probable.
The Chargers have several players available for Sunday's contest who did not play in the first matchup against the Bengals. They include receiver Royal, linebackers Melvin Ingram and Jarret Johnson and left tackle King Dunlap.
"Any game that you can play with your full roster, those are the guys you were counting on," San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. "Unfortunately that happened last time. But hey, that's all part of the deal. We've got good depth on this team, guys have stepped up all year long and that's the key."
As they usually have done for games on the East Coast, the Chargers loaded up the bus and headed for the airport for an afternoon flight, with an expected arrival in Cincinnati sometime late Friday evening.
"We talked about our approach to the game," McCoy said, when asked what he told players at the end of practice. "We had a great week of practice, and that's the most important thing. I told the players to have a great week of practice, have confidence in what you're doing and go cut it loose."