Chargers RB Ryan Mathews returns to practice for the first time since MCL sprain

San Diego, CA- San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews returned to practice for the first time since his MCL sprain, according to Chargers.com.

Ryan Mathews was a limited participant and could return to the Chargers starting line-up in Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders.

Mathews told Ricky Henne of Chargers.com that today was a significant step forward.

“It was fun and just felt good to be out there again with the guys,” he said. “Putting the helmet on again, lacing the cleats up and putting on the gloves, it felt good to catch the ball, run routes and run through the drills. It felt good.” –Mathews 

Ryan Mathews suffered an MCL sprain in week two following a 30-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks. With the Chargers up 27-21 at the start of the 4th quarter, Ryan Mathews fumbled and while attempting to recover the fumble injured his right knee and had to be carted off the field.

With Ryan Mathews out, the Chargers also lost Danny Woodhead for the season with an ankle injury and Donald Brown the past few weeks due to a concussion.

Ryan Mathews is a key piece to the Chargers offense and the Chargers running game has suffered since his absence. Undrafted rookie Branden Oliver has carried the running game due to the Chargers depleted backfield and has performed well at times, but hasn’t been able to match Ryan Mathews production.

Donald Brown returned to practice full-time this week and is listed as probable for Sundays game against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown will help lessen the workload for Oliver and allow him to be fresh in the Chargers passing game where he has been dynamic reciving out of the back field.