Chargers RB Mathews: 'I'm playing' at Denver
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews was hobbled by the ankle injury that limited him most of December and sat out most of the second half of the wild-card victory at Cincinnati on Sunday.
Mathews, the team's top rusher with 285 carries and 1,255 yards in the regular season, said he plans to be on the field Sunday for the Chargers divisional playoff date at Denver.
"In my mindset, I'm playing," Mathews said.
If he's healthy, Mathews figures to be a busy ballcarrier against the Broncos.
Mathews had 29 carries for 127 yards in San Diego's Dec. 12 at Denver and has been the central figure in a revived running game.
The Chargers ran Mathews 13 times for 52 yards against the Bengals but relied on Ronnie Brown (eight carries, 77 yards) and Danny Woodhead (15-54) yards to control the clock and tire the Cincinnati defense.
It's clear the Chargers are shifting approach with a ball-control, run-first mentality. In the past five games, San Diego's rushing attempts were over 35 -- 40 against the Giants, 44 at Denver, 37 against Oakland, 35 against Kansas City and 40 in Sunday's playoff victory.
Denver was 19th in total defense in 2013 but tied for seventh against the run at 101.6 yards per game.
In the Broncos' final two regular-season games, they limited the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders to less than 3.3 yards per carry.
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