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Monday, January 6, 2014
Mike McCoy mum on Ryan Mathews

By Eric D. Williams

SAN DIEGO -- As expected, San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy failed to shed any light on the status of the team's every-down running back, Ryan Mathews.

Mathews
Asked if Mathews, who has been dealing with an ailing ankle for the past three weeks, would play in his team’s AFC divisional round contest at Denver on Sunday, McCoy wouldn’t bite.

“I think we had this discussion last week,” McCoy said. “I’ll give you an update as the week goes along.”

OK, so will Mathews practice on Wednesday?

“I’ll let you know on Wednesday,” McCoy said.

McCoy’s approach to offering information on his team’s injury situation all season has been to provide as little information as possible, therefore providing his opponent as little information as possible on his team’s most important players.

Mathews entered the AFC wild-card contest against Cincinnati with a balky ankle. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday heading into the contest, wearing a protective boot on his left ankle to help the injury heal.

Mathews was a limited participant at practice on Friday, and listed as probable for the Cincinnati game. Mathews rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries against the Bengals, but gave way to Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown after one carry in the second half.

Mathews suffered the injury on Dec. 22 against Oakland. After receiving treatment for the injury, Mathews returned to the contest in the second half against the Raiders.

The Chargers rushed for a season-high 196 yards in a 27-10 win against Cincinnati. The last time San Diego played Denver, a 27-20 win, Mathews ran for 127 yards on 29 carries, including a 23-yard touchdown run.

Mathews, 26, is having his best season as a pro. He played a full, 16-game season for the first time in four NFL seasons, finishing with a career-high 1,255 yards and seven total touchdowns during the regular season.

Mathews’ injury status for Sunday’s game is important because he’s been a focal part of San Diego’s success offensively in the second half of the season. In games Mathews has rushed at least 19 times, the Chargers are 7-1.

McCoy would not say if his team's game plan would change if Mathews can’t play on Sunday.

“We’re going to put a game plan in that we think is best to win this football game,” McCoy said. “And we’ll play with whoever we’ve got.”