Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chargers' Mathews Played With High Ankle Sprain

For the past two weeks in the postseason San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews has been playing through the pain of a high ankle sprain. 
The pain is so severe that Mathews did not made it past the first few plays of the second half of either game. But his desire to play was so overwhelming he found the physical and mental mindset to keep persevering. 
Mathews initially sustained the injury in the second half of San Diego's game against the Oakland Raiders on December 22nd. 
During the postseason Mathews was limited to 23 snaps in two games, with 18 of those snaps coming in the January 5th wild-card win at Cincinatti, where he rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries. He caught two passes for 12 yards. Mathews was the AFC's second-leading rusher in the regular season. 
"It was tough because I wanted to be out there every play, just to help them," said Mathews, who is in his fourth season in the NFL. "Just to see them fight back, and just fight, fight, and fight- and to be able to come back in the fourth quarter- and just to be able to make a run for the win is incredible. For me, it's just hard to watch that.
"But I'm just going to keep getting better. I have a plan. And the plan is to just keep doing what I'm doing, and to better myself so we can take it farther."
Mathews finished the season with a career-high 1,255 rushing yards during the regular season and was voted by his teammates as San Diego's offensive player of the year. Mathews credits his success and ability to make it through a full, 16 game season, the first time in his career, to daily work with Chargers strength and conditioning trainer Kent Johnson.
"I'm just going to train and get better," Mathews said. "There's a lot of stuff I have to work on. The strength and conditioning coaches, they got me right that last offseason, and it can only go up from there. And so that's what I plan to do."
Mathews was not the only Chargers player to have an injury against Denver, with linebacker Manti Te'o, safety Marcus Gilchrist, and linebacker Donald Butler all with concussions.
References: ESPN and NBC Sports
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Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
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Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
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